Dear ‘Mill

imageDear ‘Mill,

Have you noticed how much warmer it’s been lately, how much more often the sun has been out and how the snow and rain have spoiled fewer days? Maybe you also noticed, as I have, that we’re not spending as much time together as we used to. Remember when we spent every single run together each week, back at the beginning January? Those were some good weeks we had together. But now, dear treadmill, it seems we’re growing apart.

I think we need a break.

Please, don’t be upset. I know you were there for me through the darkest days this year and I appreciate that. I promise, it’s not you. It’s me. I swear, you’re great! It’s just that my needs have changed since we got back together a few months ago. I need some time outside. I need the fresh air to clear my head. But before I say good bye for a few months, I wanted to let you know how much you have added to my life this winter and that if conditions change, I may come back to you. 

You have taken my speed to new heights, rocketing my confidence and overall fitness to levels I didn’t know were possible. You’ve allowed me the space to nerd out on television programs that I never make time for unless I’m on you and, even if I did, I couldn’t watch around my kids because of the language and adult content. You handle my pounding and sweating with no complaint, greeting me with a smooth bouncy response no matter how you’re feeling.

But ‘Mill, oh ‘Mill! Outside has again caught my eye. While you’re safe and that’s a really great quality, Outside is exciting. Again, that’s all on me, me. I put you in the garage with nothing to look at but the stairs and my shoe shelf. Maybe you make it too easy for me; I program the fast pace, stick in my ear buds and go. Sometimes it feels like it’s you doing all the work for me. I miss the chase. I need to branch out and see if I can handle it on my own. Outside challenges me with terrain and the elements and occasionally weird people or dogs off their leashes. All you do is occasionally blow a fuse. I need more.

I wish all our days together were as good as this one. At least we have our memories.
I wish all our days together were as good as this one. At least we have our memories.

God, I sound like an asshole, but really that squeak is getting louder too. I know, I know. You need lubrication, but I’ve been lazy, and sometimes I just need a quickie and don’t have the time … I’m sorry. I feel like I’m just using you. And, god, you deserve more.

So we’re taking a break. It’s not forever. We can even stay friends, and who knows? With global warming it might be a weird summer and I might call you for the occasional hook up. But for now, remember the good times. I will. The tempo runs, the easy runs, the long runs, the hill runs, the crazy-fast runs that left me drenched and breathless, thankful for my sweat towel. You changed me. I started the season dreading every moment with you, and in the end our times became some of my favorite (though that might have been because I got totally hooked on Curb Your Enthusiasm).

For now, as hard as it is to do tempos outside after doing them on the treadmill for four months straight, it’s adieu. I’m going to work on my tan me. This isn’t forever. That, I promise.



I'm an elementary P.E. teacher with a long-term, ongoing marathon addiction.The next big goal? Keeping up my BQ streak while aiming for a 3:10! I write about the not-so-glamorous side of running and fitting in serious training with a family while staying sane(ish).

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