Sunday, August 12, 2012

Treadmills and serendipitous kindnesses...

Image used with permission of TopEnd Sports.
Treadmills get a bad rap. The very word suggests a tedious, repetitive, tiring, sometimes meaningless activity. We've all heard people express angst about the "treadmill" they feel they're on in life.

Well, I have a slightly different take on this oft-maligned word. Ten months ago, I discovered...the treadmill. A nagging running injury (Achilles) meant that maybe regular time on this kind of exercise machine would be perfect for maintaining daily running without risking re-injuring the leg. The weirdest thing happened. I got to really like it. Sure, we're back on trails, but several times a week, we're also at the gym in the early morning - on the treadmill.

These machines are really very entertaining. You can go fast or slow, run on the level or on an incline or if you're feeling a little adventurous, set the machine to simulate any kind of run at all. You can listen to your choice of music on an iPod (89 bpm is perfect for my cadence), listen to audio-books, or just chill to whatever is playing in the gym. There's lots to look at out the window, as cars and pedestrians go about their morning routines through our little town.

What I really wanted to share in this posting, however, was a rather extraordinary example of kindness that took me quite by surprise this morning at the same gym. Joan and I walked in the door, placed our kit bag in the appropriate storage unit and headed over to the treadmill area. A good friend was running on the machine I usually like to use. (Nice location, at the end with corner window.) Upon seeing us, she pushed the "stop" button, literally leaped off the machine, grabbed the spray disinfectant, gave it a quick clean...and invited me to take her place on my, um, favourite treadmill. As I stood there, quite dumbfounded, she started up another machine and continued her run. Huh?

I'm sure to some other eyes in the gym, I must have appeared a little like the local "gym bully" demanding that this woman remove herself immediately from MY machine. The only thing is, to look at me, no one would easily believe that. I am neither particularly lean nor mean-looking. Heck, I don't even have a tattoo!

Anyway, my friend, sharing that she only had ten minutes left to run, insisted that since I would be on the treadmill for a full hour, that I take the machine in the "preferred" location. Talk about an expression of serendipitous kindness.

Well, it was kind of fun, and it left a very warm feeling that's lasted all day.

Acts of kindness enrich our world...and their effects are both wonderful and cumulative.

To my thoughtful and generous friend, and all such folks everywhere...thank you.



  1. Nice story, Duncan. Kindness is about as cool as it gets. :-) Gen.

  2. ...I'm glad D that it gave you the same warm feeling it gave me. Hope it didn't cause those who observed it to back away from you in fear. LOL

  3. Indeed, kindness is, Gen. Thanks for that. Always good to know you're there. Duncan.

    It did and thank you L...I know you'll forgive the small editorial privilege I took with your generous comment. :) D.