Joy in mechanical movement

Once upon a time I used to be a runner. I began running my third year of college, but only because I had to (long story). However, after a few months of daily runs I found that I actually liked the activity. I continued running into my senior year of college;
then not out of obligation, but from a place of enjoyment.

After graduation I ran a few races, then when I was 24 years old I trained for
(and completed) a marathon. (It was incredible.) I loved the feeling I got about 15 minutes into a run – after I found my groove, hit my stride, and began feeling the endorphins buzz in my body. (That is no myth, my friends; endorphins rock.) When I was 25 years old I began training for a second marathon; but I got injured (right knee) and was given a choice: I could continue running but likely face knee-replacement surgery in 10 years,
or I could stop running and probably avoid surgery for the rest of my natural life.
I chose the latter.

So, at 26 years old, I stopped the jarring act of running, and transitioned to its gentler cousin – walking. And while the change was quite sad at the time, I have come to appreciate – and now truly enjoy – walking.

Where I live, winter is very cold, snowy, and long. While I might be able to wear lots of layers to protect my body from the cold (though, on days when the temperature hits
10 degree [F] {and below}, even lots of clothes can’t keep out the cold for very long), once the snow and ice begin to pile up, it simply is no longer safe to be outside amid the slippery, wet elements. So, once the first “real” snowfall lands, I take my walking inside, and cozy up to the treadmill in our basement.

We have had a treadmill for about 10 years now, ever since I transitioned from running to walking. I use it nearly every single day from October/November through March/April;
it has been very good to me. Alas, nothing lasts forever – and over the past month or so the treadmill has been acting up. Last weekend, I hit my breaking point with the machine, and my sweetie and I purchased a new treadmill – which was delivered two days ago,
and which I got to break in today.

This afternoon, I slipped on a new pair of athletic sneakers, stepped on the new machine – and felt an extra-delightful spring in my step (no doubt a result of the fresh padding in my new shoes, and the increased buoyancy of the new treadmill belt). Walking today felt extra-good; I’m very pleased with (and very grateful for) this new addition to the basement.

Yay health! As one of my yoga teachers say, “Motion is lotion.”

And if anyone wants an old treadmill, it’s free for the taking; all you have to do is haul it from my house.  🙂


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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12 Responses to Joy in mechanical movement

  1. JaxieCat says:

    This is a great reminder for me. I had lead a sedentary life until recently. As with anything, I had to start slowly. At first, it was difficult just to walk to the mailbox. I am finally up to 1 mi, and it is feeling really good.


    • Stef says:

      Yes, starting slowly is absolutely the best way to begin. (Not only with exercise, but with most brand-new things in life.) To get up to a mile is terrific! I’m delighted to hear you are feeling good about it! 🙂


  2. Touch2Touch says:

    Some “dittos” here, Stef.
    Same kind of climate, same kind of need for indoor motion. But Frank’s well-worn treadmill won’t fit in the new apartment we’re moving to on Friday. Fortunately they have a small fitness center there, and a couple of treadmills. So yesterday our young friend and his wife did just what you suggest in your post, they came over and hauled it downstairs (I couldn’t look, I was so nervous for them, cause it’s HEAVY, but they did it) and away. My bike will go with us as a donation to the fitness center. So both of us will be able to go on with the motion — although “joy” hasn’t been a word I’ve associated with it before Maybe now I’ll think of your joy in moving those limbs and “catch” some of your enthusiasm. That would be nice.
    (For Frank the treadmill’s a great joy because he always listens to original cast Broadway musicals while he’s walking, and he LOVES the musicals, so he loves the walking.)


    • Stef says:

      Like your husband, I have a “special” activity that I do when I’m on the treadmill (and that I do *only* when I’m on the treadmill), so it makes that time and experience a little more special for me. 🙂

      Good luck with your move on Friday! Are you ready?


      • Touch2Touch says:

        Are you kidding?
        It’s more like the move is saying, Ready or not, here I come!
        And so it will come—
        We’ll just do it, but I better get some blog posts scheduled tomorrow or I’ll be “off air” for too long — 😦


      • Stef says:

        Big things do have a way of sneaking up on us… yet somehow, we always make it through. I’m thinking of ya lady; hang tough – I know you can get through it! 🙂


  3. I love walking too. I walk about 6km a day. Just doing the school run (walk) and to and from work. I can’t imagine not being able to walk because the weather is too bad. Where do you live Stef? Just curious. 🙂


    • Stef says:

      Wow, 6km a day is a very respectable distance – kudos to you!

      I live in the US, in Minnesota. I’m not sure how familiar you are with US geography (so I apologize if I tell you something you already know) – Minnesota is in the middle-and-northern part of the US. I’m about 6 hours south of the Canadian border; so it gets very cold here. And we get lots of snow. (This year we had multiple days of 2-3 feet of snow in a 24-hour time frame.) Not great conditions for walking outside. 🙂


  4. Lia says:

    I love the saying, “motion is lotion”! I couldn’t agree more: when I was training for a marathon, it truly hit home how much the body is designed to move. Great post, Stef!


    • Stef says:

      Absolutely. I get truly antsy (like, feel compelled to move) after sitting down for more than a few hours… and I feel absolutely delightful after a walk, or a yoga session. Aaahhhh… I love it! 🙂


  5. Pingback: Lessons from a friend | Smile, kiddo.

  6. Pingback: Lessons from a friend | Smile, kiddo.

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