When it comes to running, I am fully committed to mediocrity. I run exactly three miles, three times a week, at a 6.0 mph pace–the definition of not fast and not slow. I listen to Frank Turner if I’m in a good mood, Beyonce if I’m not, and cruise along, letting my mind wander and my body work just hard enough to sweat. If I reach a hill, I go the other way.
Yesterday I hit the treadmill, because the DC weather was typically swampy and I didn’t feel like putting up with that shit. The gym TV was on and a sports thing was apparently happening, so I stared at the red wall instead. It was exactly as much fun as you think it was.
A girl got on the treadmill in front of me. She was a short and muscular, the soccer-player type. Her warm-up pace was roughly the same as my actual pace, which was slightly annoying. Then she cranked the speed up, faster and faster until her legs were going so quick they almost blurred.
Just once, I thought. Just once I would like to know what that feels like. Does it feel like flying? I bet it feels badass.
Usually a thought like that would come and go without any real action on my part, but that day I was bored enough to start hitting buttons. Seven miles per hour, and then I went up to eight. I probably should have stopped there, but I didn’t. I kept hitting that button until I was at ten miles per hour. For most people, this isn’t a big deal. For me, it was.
I probably looked like this:
But I felt like this:
I survived for half a mile at this pace.
And then I felt like death, so I kicked it back down to 6 mph, which suddenly felt a whole lot easier.
Now I know what it feels like.