As a lifetime exercise-a-holic some days you can hit it harder than other days.  Some days your body responds with greater ease at the challenge of running or weights or crunches or perfect push-ups than it does other days.  I chalk it up to age, pH composition of my body that day, whether my thyroid is up or down, what I ate or drank the day before, whether some chronic illnesses are calm or stormy.  I get that not every day is a walk in the park in results or even effort.

I was the complete opposite of the young late teen-early twenties girl who climbed on the treadmill next to me.  I was nearly 30 years older than her.  I wasn't wearing any spandex unless you counted what was in my sports bra under my tank top.  She was sporting spandex capri-ish leggings.  I was wearing only the little bit of make-up - eyebrow pencil, mascara and the tail end of my lipstick that was still on my face after a day at work.  She appeared to have slathered on most of a bottle of Cover-girl liquid make-up and some of my Grandma Weldy's corn silk face powder cakeishly piled on top.  She listened to her music via headphones while I watched "Friends" with closed caption on so as not to bother everyone around me.  I was there to burn calories and get to mile 4.  She seemed to lollygag about not wanting to break a sweat.

She gave me food for thought while I ran.  I don't think she was overly aware that I was nearly 30 years older than her nor that I was kicking her ass in effort and speed.  I wondered what would motivate someone to come to the gym to walk that slow.  Aren't gyms supposed to be the place you go to break a sweat, push yourself, define a muscle, lose some flab, reach a goal? 

At first I thought she might be "warming up" a bit on a low mph setting - just letting her legs get used to it, bringing her heart rate up.  That too is totally opposite of me.  I get out of the car, climb on a machine and go to town.  I also drive that way, 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, first out of the gate at a stoplight.  She never got past the "warm up" phase.

I clicked the miles off ever increasing my mph to trick my body a bit.  She was never going to hit mile one walking that slow.  She wasn't overweight, didn't appear to have a physical handicap other than not wanting to push her limits past easy.  When I could take it no longer, I glanced at her mph on the digital display of her treadmill.  It read 3.3 mph!  Equated to minutes that meant she would walk a mile in 18 minutes 18 seconds to burn 68 calories. At that speed, for her weight and age, I am not sure it was even increasing her heart rate at all.

She needed Jillian from "The Biggest Loser" to scream at her, to push her as she had not drive or push on her own.  Since Jillian was no where near her, I wanted to say things like"Hey pretty princess move your ass!  Pick up the pace!  This old woman is putting you to shame.  Show me what your young age has on me!"  I watched her keep glancing at herself in the big mirrors that were across the gym to our right.

Now I can think of other things I am going to be doing if I am overly concerned about how I look.  Exercise isn't meant to be a fashion statement.  It's meant to cleanse the mind, soul, spirit and body.  It's meant to leave you invigorated, a bit ragged and uncaged.   It's meant to leave your hair wet at the hairline, your sports bra damp and your make-up pretty much gone.

3.3 miles per hour.  I walk faster than that from my desk at work to the bathroom!  

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