My new friend, Tready

The original plan was to meet for an easy 45-minute run outside.

It didn’t seem like too far-fetched. One of the advantages of running early in the morning is that often you avoid wind. And as long as it wasn’t blowing in our faces, we could handle the temperatures in the teens. At least in theory.

But the light snow this morning started to change my mind. I would have to consider two layers of tights, several layers of tops and deal with the fact that I do not own nice, warm running gloves. Plus, there was the whole road condition issue to consider. While our routes usually take us through suburban streets that are either nicely plowed or nicely packed, this fresh coating looked slick. Visions of my stumbling on the fresh snow or wiping out on a patch of black ice danced in my head.

I didn’t want to risk it. After all, I am the girl who gave herself a concussion in the shower last year. I don’t need any outside assistance to injure myself.

And so, we made the switch to the gym and did our 45 minute run on the treadmill.

For runners, the treadmill is almost always a conversation starter. Some love thetreadmill and wouldn’t even consider venturing outside in winter weather. Others abhor the treadmill, picking outdoor running in any and all conditions. Still others tolerate the treadmill, preferring the outdoors but reluctantly heading to the conveyor belt for a workout when the wind chill hit single digits.

I had evolved into a dreadmill girl. I loathed thinking about doing a run on a treadmill.

But me and Tready, well, we’ve become friends.

Not best buds, mind you. But we’re more than just passing acquaintances now.

We play games with the clock on the wall and the bank of televisions, seeing how long I can go without peaking at the time remaining or checking my heart rate. We create fictional stories about the other people in the gym to pass the time. Occasionally we daydream together. Other times we get annoyed together, like this morning when two people were having a way too loud conversation two treadmills over. Granted, on my long run this past weekend, I started spontaneously shouting “Pancakes,” complained about the apparent loop of Heart’s greatest hits on the gym’s radio feed and wildly through my hands in the air holding out two fingers to signify the final two minutes of my workout. I’d like to think those actions were endearing and entertaining rather than annoying.

I think Tready would agree.

See, if I have to be around Tready, I might as well find its better qualities. And if that means giving the inanimate object a personality, well, so be it. Better to get through my workouts ridiculous and slightly nutty than to bitch and complain about how hard it is to work with Tready and obsess about things like pace, distance and heart rate.

Perhaps this is the gift that a friendship with Tready gives me — a chance to embrace my ridiculousness.

Only, don’t tell my bike, Ellie, just yet. I don’t want her to get jealous.

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