Tuesday, February 02, 2010


It snowed again yesterday and the streets are slick and slippery. That means that I’m stuck on the treadmill for my 2-to-4 miles today. Sigh.

Here’s the truth: I get so tired of the treadmill this time of the year that I could scream. Here’s another truth: Sometimes I feel like skipping a day. Sometimes it takes every ounce of mustered-up willpower in my whole body to force myself to tie my shoes and head down the basement to the treadmill.

After all, who would know if I skipped a session? And who really cares?

Answer: my faithful training partner would know. Good old what’s-his-name. The old guy I live with. The guy that every cold winter day, puts on his 10-year-old black mesh shorts and t-shirt and heads down those same basement stairs. Every day. He climbs on the treadmill, pushes the “Start” button, and takes off.
If the old guy can do it, so can I. Me, his much younger wife.

My husband is 65-going-on-66 years old. On Christmas day 2009, his 67-year-old brother had a stroke. Last month, another older brother had a heart attack. He had a third brother who died at the age of 68 of the complications of heart disease and diabetes. It’s a scary family medical history.

So my ‘conscience,’ my good-old faithful training partner, puts on his running shoes and goes down the basement on these cold winter days, clocking the miles. One foot in front of the other . . . getting that aging heart pumping and that smelly old sweat rolling.

I like to believe that some days it’s me who tweaks his conscience—just like other days it’s he who prods mine. But together, as my blog title optimistically says, we “dream of hiking into [our] old age.” Day after day, mile after mile, challenging each other to do everything we can to stay alive. In our old age, we want our house to smell like sweaty gym socks instead of Pine Sol and mothballs.

After all, we’ve got some grandbabies to help raise!


Jenny said...

Oh I am so with you on this one! I don't have a treadmill in my basement but I do have two kids to bundle up (15 mins) and strap in their carseats (10 mins) to drive seven minutes to the gym only to unload them again (5 mins) and drop them off at the kids' club (5 mins) to workout for one hour. Sometimes I tell my husband I get more of workout getting to and from the gym than I do inside the gym.

But those two sets of eyes are watching me intently so I try to set a good example.

But I would be lying if I said I cannot WAIT for the warm sunshine of spring to beckon us back to our daily stroller strides.

2to4aday said...

Jenny: That is dedication! While I'm whining about walking down the basement steps to the treadmill, you are the one that REALLY shows the willpower with two little ones and a commute to the gym. The next time I'm feeling whiny, I'll think of you and remember how easy I've got it. :-)