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Going Nowhere Fast

At the sound of the beeps this morning my daughter sat up.  Straight up.  She listened.  Three more beeps.  Then another two.

And then the whirring of a machine turning without her.

She scooted to the edge of the top bunk, her eyes like a barn owl’s.  Her hair completely startled.  “But,” she began.  She looked to me to understand. “But…it’s my turn to go first.”

Downstairs, my son jogged at 4 mph, the safety clip already clamped to his shorts.

This was the life.

Or life as it has been for two days.

Yesterday we unloaded this treadmill.  A friend was moving.  The price was right.  And the exercise…how bad could it hurt?

It’s just that I thought it would be me pounding on the treadmill.  Me watching the weather from the window.  Me wishing I was anywhere else but on this rolling tarp.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

My son ran.  My daughter ran.

My son tore past the table for another turn.  My daughter jumped on the ‘mill as soon as his heels hit the carpet.

By mid-morning I had yet to have a turn.

As I stared at the three of us in tennis shoes, each waiting our chance to push the treadmill buttons, I realized that two of us didn’t understand that treadmills are work.

Two didn’t know that most treadmills end up as clothing catch-alls.

Two just think we’re the luckiest family to be able to jog inside our own house.

Whenever we want.


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