Why I now love the treadmill

23 Feb

So, I’m from New Jersey, I like rock music, it goes almost without saying that I love Bruce Springsteen. And recently I rediscovered Born in the U.S.A.. Seriously, every song on that album is amazing. I think Springsteen is like a modern-day Johnny Mercer, taking the vernacular of real people and putting it in song. Maybe Dylan did it, too. I’m not really sure. I should know more about Dylan’s contribution to American music than I do. But Springsteen pairs those great lyrics with pop and rock.

So you get the point. Since I didn’t get up early enough to run in the park this morning, and I got stuck at work all day (I had planned on leaving early and getting some editing done at home, then going for a run, then doing more work tonight), I had to go to the gym.

I hate the gym. I like Spinning class, I like kickboxing class (although I never go), I like swimming. I like working out with weights, but I hate physically going to the gym, staring at the blinds while I work out half-heartedly, thumbing through an issue of Shape to motivate me. But tonight, I was dying to go for a run. I’ve been stressed at work, I haven’t been getting enough exercise, and my body and my brain needed it.

But before I left, I put Born in the U.S.A. on my iPod. As I walked to the gym, I felt like my body was excited about it–like it was saying, “THANK YOU! Now I can erase the memory of that disgusting mayo-slathered sandwich you ate for lunch!” Sorry, body, but I did specifically ask for no mayo.

I got to the gym, signed up for a treadmill, set it for a hill workout, level 4, 5.0 mph, and started up with my iPod. I skipped through “Born in the U.S.A.” Republicans have ruined that song for me. “Cover Me” was an awsome warm-up, I upped the speed for “Darlington County,” and again for “Working on the Highway.” I noticed the awesome bass line on “Downbound Train,” and even though that’s a downtempo song, I was running, not jogging, and I was smiling. I wanted to sing along to “I’m on Fire” (I didn’t).

But the clincher was “No Surrender.” What a perfect song to exercise to. It was then that I had the brilliant idea of doing an AOR exercise class–none of this Britney Spears and J.Lo crap–just Springsteen, the Stones, maybe Led Zep, who knows? Maybe guys would actually start coming to group exercise classes.

I got up to 6.0 mph for “No Surrender,” and I pictured myself running up that hill in Pac Grove during my tri. I wouldn’t let it get to me. I felt like I was sprinting up it, running to the beat, singing to my fellow triathletes (realistically, I know people would be really angry with me if I actually did that. When you’re in pain running, the last thing you want to see is someone sprinting by you singing some sort of motivational anthem.). I thought of John Kerry’s theme song.

I kept up the pace for the rest of the run, warming down to “I’m Goin’ Down” and “Glory Days.”

It was an awesome run. I don’t hate the gym anymore. And since I’m staying up late working anyway, if I can’t get to the gym until 7 or 7:30 to workout, I don’t need to worry about a late workout keeping me up!

Workout details:
Miles: 3.05
Mins.: 35 (with cool-down)
Hill workout, level 4

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