We probably all have that feeling when we know that something will break soon. A squeaky bike, a noisy washer, or a very whiny dishwasher… or worse, a car that acts weird. You know when the car starts with a cough, but that tomorrow will be different. I got that feeling yesterday and I almost choked up, tears in my eyes and I felt like the world was about to end. Right there running in the garage, listening to Stolen Car (by Sting and will.I.am), on my fifth interval, the treadmill picked up and squeaked in a new higher octave. This is it; I know it will be over soon. It will not survive the quarantine.

It is around 12 years ago since I started running on a regular basis. It started with short neighborhood runs, a few miles here and there that became long trail runs every week and the need for air under my wings. It started with signing up for a half marathon and just kept going. It took a few months before I realized that I did not have the chance to get out when I wanted, the kids where young, B was travelling a lot and I didn’t have enough hours in the day. We got a cheap and pretty crappy treadmill to get me through the winter months that year and it is still running. That treadmill has been moving around from different houses and from bedroom, to bonus room, to guestroom, to the garage. I had to watch tv the first few years, I followed series to keep me going. The treadmill moved out to the garage and has been there for the last 5-6 years and there is no tv around. It does not take much now. Even if I do 90% of my runs outside, I use it more or less every day. To warm up, to run intervals, to get some cardio in my workouts, to move my legs, to get out if the weather is bad. And now it squeaks. It is very tired, not happy and it makes me so sad. So sad.

I do not know how many races I have that treadmill to thank for. Probably hundreds of half marathons, marathons, adventure races, swim runs, major injuries and life moments. Incline walks after shoulder surgeries, short start up runs after broken feet, jogs with a bad knee (still happening), a few stress fractures, tumors, and overall a broken body… 12 years later and that treadmill is still running…and I am so grateful to have it. It is my safety net, my time away from home, my burn off, my own spot. And it is giving up. What should I do? Buy a new fancy one? Will it be the same? Survive without? It is a luxury to have taking up space. Get a bit more modern and buy a Peloton bike? Or maybe just get a new crappy one. Life should not be all soft and easy.


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