How I wish with all my heart that every run here looked like the one above.
Sadly, they don’t.
When we lived in D.C. I ran at least 5 days a week, creeping out from under the warm and snuggly arm of my handsome sleepy man to wrestle into sport bras and spandax and creep outside into the sunrise.
Even during those awful weeks of 15 hour days at work, when I couldn’t remember when my last real meal was or how I was possibly supposed to get through the next phase of the project, I still made it outside every morning for my date with the pavement.
Sometimes I only had time for 25 minutes, sometimes it was even less, but that time was beautiful. I’d take a jog through the National Zoo or run down Mt. Pleasant St, enjoying the solitude and the funny little things I could bring home to tell Chris about on our way to work.
Like the time a baby deer jumped out in front of me at the zoo. Or the time I saw the most luscious snow falling by the predawn light of the streetlight.
Nowadays, the sites I see are more likely to be commercials on the Armed Forces Network and the inclines I find myself running up are the result of buttons I’ve pushed rather than routes I’ve chosen.
I hate treadmills. I generally dislike being indoors when I have the opportunity to be outside.
But this is a place where clouds are rarely the puffy harmless creatures that they were in D.C. There are days when I think I would do just about anything to see a truly clear sky and breathe clean air.
But for now, that’s not an option and I’d like to think that by running on a treadmill at the Consulate, I’m preserving my lungs for better days and better runs.
The ability to force one’s self to run on a treadmill everyday, like a caged gerbil with a toy wheel, is actually a skill I think. A test of will.
It’s a skill I don’t think I’ll ever quite master, but now I have a secret weapon and that is actually the reason for this post:
I download new and old episodes of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life” and “Culturetopia” and others, then while away the minutes on the treadmill catching up on American news and culture.
Sometimes it’s a shockingly efficient way of gathering interesting tidbits and news to share over dinner.
Other times those shows make me laugh so hard I have to grip the handrails to stay upright. I’d like to consider those moments a new kind of cardio burst routine.
I don’t think you can beat the endorphine combination of running and laughing at the same time.
And that will be what keeps me running through these next 2 years I think. It’s a strategy that I’m going to be recommending to everyone I know.
Because sometimes exercising simply isn’t about the exercise, it’s about the indulgences you allow yourself for doing it.
And until I can indulge in a long run under clean, clear skies again, I’ll be bribing myself however I can to keep getting on that darn treadmill.
How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going to the gym when you can’t get outside? What is your exercise related indulgence? (gossip magazines, a certain TV channel?) Any suggestions for new podcasts I should try? “Wait Wait Don’tTell Me” only airs once a week…