So, I'm training for a triathlon. A sprint distance, nothing crazy. Since I've been recovered from disordered eating and exercise, I've kept my love of running, but one thing has changed; I only run outside. I don't think this was a completely conscious choice, but since I've had kids, I have to bring them running, and I can't exactly push them on the treadmill in their stroller, and I've discovered I really love to run outside.
On Sunday I went to the gym for the first time in a long time. I did an easy swim, quickly changed and got on the treadmill. Plugged my ipod in, pushed all the buttons and started running.
And all the memories came back. Like a Mack truck.
The smell of the gym, the people there, the sound of the treadmill. The digital time ticking, telling me how much time has elapsed, how many miles I have run, and of course, how many calories I have burned. Memories of how I would race the clock to see if I could make a certain distance before the time got there. Or, I would run until I burned x amount of imaginary calories. I wonder if that ever made my happy.
On Sunday I ran for only 20 minutes, but in that time I thought about how I used to be when I was on the treadmill.
Thinking obsessing about calories, wondering how much more distance I could take, hoping my legs wouldn't buckle out from under me. Trying to ignore the hungry feeling in my stomach. And on and on. And thinking…..that was normal.
After the 20 minutes was up, I stopped. The old me would have pushed on for another 20 or 30 minutes, just to…I don't know. Prove something.
In times like that, when I see my old ghost, I take note of how far I've come. I'm sad for a moment. Thinking of how happy I thought I was. Then happy, taking note of how “grown up” I feel now. Exercising to be fit. Huh. Now, that makes me happy. I'm sure of it.