I have never been a "gym rat" and do almost all of my outdoor running on my own or with the kids. I actually do most of my miles on the treadmill at home, while the kids are playing around me.
Running while others are watching me, listening to me, and even smelling me (!!) is all a new experience for me. But, I like it. I enjoy being surrounded by like-minded individuals. Some are new to exercise and some have made it a life-long habit. It feels so good to working out with others that have made exercise a priority in their lives. Even if it is a temporary lifestyle change, due to New Year's resolutions, a recent health scare or an opportunity to drop a few quick pounds ... everyone seems excited to be there.
I love running in between a middle aged woman to my left that is holding onto the treadmill as she trots along at a 5.0 MPH pace; while there is a young stud to my right who is clipping along at 9.5 MPH for four consecutive miles. I love when my footsteps coincide with someone next to me; when we get into a rhythm and the beat keeps me moving along. I get a kick out of the guy three treadmills down who grunts after every .1 mile and clears his throat. I love looking at the door every time it opens to see who my next "competition" is on the empty treadmill. I love how everytime someone hops on the treadmill next to me, it motivates me to go just one more mile.
And that's what happened today. 3 miles turned into 4 and 4 turned into 5. I could have gone further, but I have a race on Saturday, remember?!