In order to stay active, especially during the cold winters in Madison, I would do my best to go to the gym or weight room five times per week, with each session ranging from an hour and a half to four hours (and that is, iff I do not have anything else on my list to accomplish that day). Each visit has different surprising factors. For example, I bumped into a good friend and former student Adam last night (and I saw his brother Sam earlier in the library), and we chatted for around ten minutes when I was rowing. ‘Tis nice to see familiar faces and a huge crowd aiming to live healthily by taking time to exercise. I also admire people who are muscular and toned, and I aim to be like them one day when I can walk into the gym showing off massive chest and stallion figure with my shirt off.
After rowing the usual 5K, I looked around the room and noticed that almost all of the ellipticals and machines were occupied. The only equipment that was available was a new treadmill machine. I had not been on a treadmill for a while, and I believe the last time when I was on a treadmill was when I was eighty pounds heavier. I remembered that being on a treadmill as a person who was overweight was actually not enjoyable, where my weight would prevent the treadmill from running, and I just do not enjoy running in circles or as a hamster. I was always scared in the past that my weight or myself would be running or pulling the treadmill instead, and that I would slip off the treadmill since I might be sliding or going faster than it would. In fact, I never believed that I was born to run since I do not enjoy jogging at all. Running with a soccer ball is fine, but running in laps? Not my cup of tea.
Something inside me told me to give that treadmill a shot, so I stepped onto the treadmill and started slowly. I was soon walking on the treadmill as if I were on a catwalk, and soon I increased the speed up to 6 mph. I noticed that I could change the incline, so I set it to the highest…and soon, I was no longer hiking or climbing but running! I felt my feet jumping around and my arms swinging more violently…and most importantly, I felt GREAT! I felt my hands and legs coordinating with one another, and I felt LIGHT. I was even moving faster and easier than the guy next to me, who was on an elliptical. I no longer felt as a clumsy elephant, and I was just amazed. I perspired quite a bit too, and I enjoyed the activity so much that I was on the treadmill for twenty minutes without including cool-down sessions.
So yes, I overcame my old treadmill phobia and found great interest in it. Perhaps I will revisit it tonight when I go to the gym after research. I guess this is a good indication that humans, even the stubborn ones, are fluid…so we should not lock ourselves in a cage or set ourselves in a certain character 24/7. Even for those who are considered to be serious to others, those serious folks need humor and relaxation in life too. Being too serious and narrow-minded all the time can become an illness, and soon the person could be crushed by stress if he or she does not have a heart for the simplest happiness around him or her. Even yesternight, I was initially too serious in not getting onto the treadmill and just call it a day at the gym, and I would have missed something great. However, a little push or encouragement mixed with curiosity can open one’s eyes with a new experience!