“There’s no way.” My head is shakes in protest. “I am not a runner.”
Trainer Dude gives me half a grin with a combination raised eyebrow head tilt. He understands but doesn’t care.
“We’ll see.” His tone is borderline annoying.
Shit. This is what I pay him for.
I nod obediently and agree to his ‘one mile on the treadmill’ assignment.
This is going to suck.
Stepping on this deathtrap of a replicated sidewalk feels foreign. She’s dark and cold, like the cloud above my head. I know I don’t speak her language. I can feel her mocking my belly fat as I place my hands on her skinny, curved hips. Her red eyes bat shamelessly, and she cuts to the chase:
Where are you from? (Start)
How are you? (Weight)
How much can you handle? (Miles)
This bitch is a pro.
Standing tall in a precision military-like row of her sister cardio machines, she stands alone in my eyes, daring me to take her on.
I’m from Out-of-shape-ville (I push Start)
You repeat this, I unplug you (I enter my weight)
Four laps (Reluctantly, I enter the assigned distance of one mile)
There is a subtle deep swishing sound coming from her belly. My feet step to her pace without a fight and Trainer Dude seems pleased.
Walking slowly, I try to explain (again) that I am not a runner. “Seriously…” He gives me a look. “I think I have asthma, breathing problems, I am not a…” Pretending not to hear me, Trainer Dude increases the pace and says everything by saying nothing.
Now I am jogging, mostly out of spite. Sure to collapse any minute, I will prove I am not a runner. My breathing is slow, pronounced and causes me to rest every couple of minutes, but I keep going.
“I’m not a runner.” I manage in-between breaths.
After about ten minutes I am still waiting to pass out, but continue my pace. I feel beads of sweat collecting on my skin. Trainer Dude places his hand on my shoulder. He motions toward the mirror across the room and waits until I see my own reflection. He looks at me and smiles. “You are now.”