I much prefer running outside on the roads or in the park to running indoors on a treadmill.
But the last few days, it’s been what I like to call Awfully Darn Hot outside. Temperatures in the 90’s (at the beginning of JUNE, for mercy’s sake) have made me not want to run outside for fear of turning into a puddle of goo by the end of a half mile.
Instead, I sit at work in the freezing air conditioning, fiddling with the thermostat and / or wearing a sweater all day. I eat my lunch outside, though, to remind my body that it isn’t winter despite the fact that while my office thermostat is set at 70, it feels like the North Pole in there sometimes. I soak in a half hour of heat and sunshine, and then return to my desk and shiver for a few more hours.
Then I get into my Ridiculously Hot Car, which gives me goosebumps it’s so hot (can someone please explain to me why that happens?), and drive toward home with both the the A/C on and the windows open because I schizophrenically want both fresh air and comfort. I pull into the parking lot at the Y, grab my gym bag from the passenger seat, and head back into a climate controlled atmosphere.
On the treadmill, I’m surrounded by flashing TV screens, radio music, and other people. Sometimes the person running next to me distracts me because I try to match the rhythm of my feet to the rhythm of hers, but it’s rare that my pace is exactly the same as someone else’s, so I have to concentrate so as not to fall of the belt. The view is always the same (except that the pictures on the TVs change) and I have to try to interest myself in the numbers on the display showing my elapsed time, calories burned, and distance covered.
It’s not as interesting as seeing which yards need to be mowed, which houses just got new siding, and which flowers are now blooming.
And the odor of the gym is not nearly as nice as the aroma of honeysuckle.
The treadmill is fine. I mean, when it’s winter and there’s ice on the roads, I’m okay with the treadmill. And when the heat index nears 100, really, the treadmill is fine.
But fine is all it is. Not wonderful, just fine.
Still, it’s better than becoming a puddle of goo.