I hate treadmills.
I’ve tried running on treadmills but the boredom of it makes every minute feel like an hour and every mile feel like a marathon. I’ve tried listening to music, Podcasts, watching TV, watching a graph of how high up an imaginary hill I am, even surfing the web on the latest models, and nothing shakes off a feeling of utter pointlessness.
The whole point of running is to run. The whole point of treadmills is to not fall off. They’re completely different skills!
I’ve never fallen off the back of a treadmill but I have seen someone who had – and I admit that it was really funny. There’s a split second of arms flailing, a topple, a fall, and then they’re shot backwards faster than a human cannonball. Before – tah dah! – they jump up from the ground and try and pretend it never happened.
“I meant it,” they say, blood oozing from their knees.
“I was just getting some water,” they say, a large bruise forming on their forehead.
“Please call an ambulance!” They say, collapsing.
It’s been four years since I last ran on a treadmill. We had a treadmill at work in a gym/cupboard near reception. At lunchtime, when it was raining, I’d occasionally pop in for a run. And, by occasionally, I mean once in three years. I’d sooner get soaking wet than spend any time on a machine that was a cross between a conveyor belt and a jet engine for Boeing 737. The building would shake as soon as you reached walking pace. By the time you were running, people were sheltering under doorways preparing for an earthquake.
But the bad weather last week, over a foot of snow and no chance of it shifting, meant I had to venture back to a treadmill and try and complete at least one run.
And it was…
… not bad.
I don’t know why I hated it so much.
It was almost pleasant.
For 10 seconds then I had to run for another 25 minutes and time stopped, my brain melted, dear God, please make it stop!
I hate treadmills. But at least I complete one run last week.