Friday, March 12, 2010

Life on a Treadmill

On my treadmill runs, there comes the time when 19:42 appears on the timer.

The red digital numerals catch my eye.

The year of my birth.

Perhaps all treadmill runners have the same experience of seeing their first year’s numbers glowing before them. And then the seconds tick on. Each second becomes a year gone.

They pass so quickly, those seconds.

Of course, when I reach 18 on the treadmill timeline, the number turns to 20:00. It's a bit jarring the first time it happens. A jolt. A trick in time.

I’d never thought of it before, but the seconds after that represent years in my adulthood. At 20:16, I’m a young father of 34 on the treadmill clock. The numbers are no longer recognizable as years. By the time it’s 2016, six years hence, Ill be 74.

So I have to think to count the treadmill’s second/years in my head. When the clock gets to 20:50, it will have logged a second for each of the 68 years in my life

A minute and eight seconds, 68 seconds, 68 years.

I stop paying attention when I get to 20:50. It's no longer the past. I return to my running. Into the unknown. I know I will lower the pace to an easy cool-down walk when I hit 30 minutes.

I will have earned it.

I’ll be 618 years old.

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