Dear Treadmill,

Back when I found you listed in the newspaper, I was ambivalent about bringing you home. We didn’t have much room in our garage, and Bill wondered if I would use you or if I would miss going to the gym to be with other people on rainy days. I, myself, wondered if there was a place for you in my heart, in the mix of trail running and club membership.

You were young back then, unused and inexperienced. The odd old couple we bought you from were glad to be rid of you, but promised you worked. We hoped you’d be worth the $100 we talked them down to and the pain in our backs from lifting you over their clutter into the back of our truck. Turns out you were worth more than I could have hoped for. That first year, after we snuggled you in between our trash can and the bicycles hanging from the ceiling, I learned to look forward to meeting up with you in the afternoons. You and I spent three seasons of “Big Love” and at least two seasons of “Six Feet Under” together.

Last winter we hardly spoke. That was my fault. I’d grown heartier and almost nothing–rain, cold, SAD–could keep me off the trails. And this year has been a rerun of last year. I think of you often and fondly, but I’d rather be out in the fresh air. This week, however, when the thermometer read 19 and the snow measured eight inches, I heard you calling my name and determined to revive our relationship.

Thank you for these three days and the thirteen miles we’ve shared. I just want you to know I appreciate you being there for me when I need you the most.

I’ll see you tomorrow (but hopefully not the day after that).


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