In college at UA, we had an awesome Rec Center. I have never been the “workout” type of gal, but after my first year (as a Sophomore), I came around. My then boyfriend (now husband) was in Birmingham and I had to find something to do.
So, off I went. Frankly mah dears, I was looking forward to the steam room more than anything… it’s awsomesauce for allergies and your pores… but my conscience kept telling me I needed to actually WORK OUT at the gym…
I hit the treadmill first. I am of the “hate to run outside because there are bugs and hills and rocks and the potential to fall over cracks” variety, so the treadmill made sense.
I remember being very standoff-ish at first. There before me sat row after row of roaring running machines… FULL of Sorority Girls.
I should mention at this point that I wanted, more than anything at that time, to be one of those girls. Michael got me an “in” (and I made a friend or 3 in the process), but I couldn’t pay for it. It wasn’t until we were married that Michael told me he thought our relationship would have suffered, but he helped me get my recs and invites because he saw how badly I wanted it. Isn’t that adorables??
I had a hard time making friends at ‘Bama that first year because so many of the girls my age were tied to their sorority. I knew virtually no one.
And there I was…. with 50 of them sweating their butts off with their fancy music playing thingies (that I didn’t have), Greek letters (that I didn’t have) on their shirts about this party or that social, and name brand water (that I didn’t have/want).
I jumped on a machine in between two girls already running close to a box fan – I knew I was going to need some help.
I started walking, slowly, then sped up. As soon as I got to a good jog, I realized I was going to be ok at this. I started getting lost in my thoughts, only periodically being reminded by my shorts to pull them out of my crack…
And it was sometime mid-hard run that I realized something: these girls that were there already running when I got there? They were STILL there. I started paying more attention to their speeds and how hard they were pushing themselves.
I upped my speed to a solid run to maintain my heart rate – the girls on both sides “beeped”.
Had they just upped their speeds because I did???
Then, the girl on my left upped hers again, and I heard a barrage of beeping across the row and from behind me.
That’s it… this is a competition.
I could resist – “beep, beep, beeeeeeeeeeeep”
I was running with The Best of Them… heart pounding, slamming water back from my re-used bottle with no label.
“Beep” from one girl…
then 15 beeps from the rest.
This was getting insane.
And FINALLY, after what seemed like an eternity of heart-pounding, aneurysm-ensuing, non-stopmarathoning – one stopped… and 3 girls followed her.
I slowed down my pace to a jog to cool off, and I heard the “beep” again… about 3 more girls were slowing down as well.
Over the next 10 minutes of cooling off and praying I wouldn’t just pass out, the treadmills practically cleared out. I looked down at my meter and was shocked – 3 and 1/2 miles.
I kept up the routine of running on the treadmill with the competition for 2 semesters, and honestly I always thought it was something very “Bama”.
Michael and I joined the local Y, and we have been using a satellite branch close to our neighborhood. Ever since those college days of treadmill running, I’ve longed to get back on just to see if 4 years off the horse, making and birthing and raising babies, had done anything to my ability to run a mile or two.
But this time, Mike ran with me for 10 minutes. Soon, I was joined by 2 girls in Auburn shirts and soffie shorts. Most likely, they were my age and even more likely to be minus aforementioned babies.
It was SO on.
I was already at a jog when they got on, so I decided to test my theory after they warmed up.
I “beeped” 3 times. Guess what? So did they.
I ran like that for a few minutes and upped my speed again – SO DID THEY.
There we were – pounding the treadmill practically in sync. They would beep, and I would beep. No one was giving up.
Finally, the girl on the far end slowed down to a hard jog, and because I’d been running longer, I did as well. Her friend took all of 3 seconds to follow – I’m guessing she thought she’d won.
I looked down – 2.37 miles under 20 minutes “Not bad….” I thought.
Mike helped me do my shoulders in the Place Girls Rarely Go, better known as the Weight Area.
The girls did some of the same things… staying together and talking when they weren’t listening to their MP3 players (me and my iPhone… teehee)
Then, we go to leave and I walk to the Child Care room and pick up my 18-month-old and my 4 year old. As a family, we made small talk and I passed the girls on the way out the door.
I glanced their way and we caught eyes – they were a little shocked, to say the least.
I had totally won.
My name is Amanda and my last name is hardly pronounceable. I’m currently 25 and the mother of 2 half-breed monkey/gorilla hybrids wonderfully rowdy boys (under 5), blogging LIVE! from a city somewhere in Alabama… I have the personality of a 6′6″ man trapped in a 4′10.5″ body. I’m loud, sometimes bitchy, occasionally moody, disorganized yet incredibly passionate and a total goofball. My friends just think I’m odd and that’s fine by me.
You can read more from Amanda over at hush, amanda and you can follow her on twitter @hushamanda
Originally posted at http://hushamanda.com on 7/7/09. Photo courtesy of stock.xchg