Not that they don’t have their place or that I never use them, but I’d much rather run outside.  In the elements.  Preferably through the woods.  Treadmills keep you from doing what you are telling your body to do… run that way.  It’s even worse if you go to a big box gym and have to look at mirrors while your run.  The hum of a thousand treadmills and the smells of a thousand runners under one roof.  There’s inspiration!

No.  I think I’d rather find a trail or even a track or a road.  For me there is a sense of freedom and joy to be off the not-going-anywhere-machines and enjoying a go-anywhere run.  Even running around in circles on a track is preferable to the treadmill.  But we all do it.  Right?  We all get on treadmills of some sort and continue to pound out the miles never really getting anywhere.  That is until something comes along and disrupts our routines of living – or coping if you prefer.  It is most often the frightful and many times painful experiences that cause the disruption.  Relationships fail, jobs end, lives come to an abrupt halt.  Then a haunting awareness seeps into our otherwise foggy consciousness and asks us a simple yet profound question: “what are you doing with the time you’ve been given?”  Or in other words, “why are you on this treadmill to begin with?!”

However, it could be an otherwise joyous occasion creating the same effect.  The birth of a child, a new job, a new relationship… Albert Schweitzer said that “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out (treadmill). It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”  It is in connections with “the other” that our lives are revealed for what they are and sometimes that revealing is not entirely pleasant.  Intimacy scares me.  I want to be known but I still want to control.  How’s that for an oxymoron?

“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom”

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