Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wide Open Spaces

This blog post popped into my head today while I was running on the treadmill in a hotel in Seattle.  I linked to my old Myspace post, but then I thought I should just share this oldie with you all anyway. 
This is from way back in 2007.  January 31...  My first time abandoning my children to traipse all the way across the country for work. 

"Way back in the day, when I lived in Tacoma... I used to run the streets after work. I think I ran on the treadmill maybe once. I didn't like the fitness center - it seemed silly when there were perfectly good sidewalks. And running in the rain is probably one of my favorite things to do. Of course, it rained plenty, so it kind of had to be. Anyway... it was nice. I never worried about being kidnapped or something horrible... I know, in Tacoma?
So when I moved to Texas - I ran too -- there were huge fields to run by and the backroads were usually empty. Weslaco was a nice little place - lots of room, lots of wide open spaces. Not a lot of traffic and cute little neighborhoods.
Now I'm back in Washington... back in the small town. My hip is bad- so I don't run the roads - yet... I plan to though. For now, I'm stuck on a treadmill. But it's not so bad. I have great music and lots of room in the garage. When we move out of town I'll have tons of trails and roads close by to run on, as long as cougars and bears aren't in my way!
In my efforts to be a faithful runner and feel "sporty", I also run when I go on trips. When we went to Quinault, I got to run the beach. In Seattle, the hotel had a great workout room with a treadmill. I didn't even have to be self-conscious or take was empty!
So right now, I am in D.C. Now D.C. is big, but not big like Texas big. Big like a BUNCH of stuff CRAMMED together. Big like LOTS of people stacked up on top of each other. Like ten tired turtles in a tuttle tuttle tree - yet they're not tired turtles - they are active, health nut turtles that would totally give the rabbit a run for his money.
So this morning - I got up early (that's because I mostly slept through the night - weird, I know...) and went to run in the fitness center. First of all, the cramming doesn't stop with the people or the buildings... that center was pedal to pedal, seat to seat, wall to mirrored wall. The mirrored walls (with the dual purpose of trying to make it look bigger and allowing the turtles check out their moves) made it worse. I almost ran into one trying to find the treadmills through all the bikes and ski machines and bowflexes... so finally, I spy the treadmills. There are 6, four full. Six crammed together, probably in the space that two normal treadmills might actually take up. And it's either take the one RIGHT next to the mirrored wall, or one between the tortoise and the hare. I took a breath.
While I'm not necessarily what I would consider claustrophobic, I do have a rather large bubble. It was shrunk somewhat when standing in the grocery lines at the HEB - but once I got back to Washington, it quickly expanded again. You get too close to me, I back up. I need my space - it's nothing personal...
So, I took a breath and squeezed myself and my bubble up onto the treadmill. I am not kidding that if I had stuck either elbow out, I totally would have knocked over the turtle on the treadmill on top of me.
So, space. I like space. I like ROOM. I like stairs, not elevators. I like roads, not fitness centers. While I wish I could get out and see more sights while I was here, this trip has further affirmed to me that I am NOT a city girl. Neither do I wish I lived in a bigger place with more things and more stuff and less space.
Ironic that I live in a duplex with two kids, and we all sleep together on a full bed... But at least there are no turtles in my garage."


  1. We lived in DC for a year. I loved it, but it was never going to long term and I think that's why I liked it. It was more like an extended vacation. Our town has just enough of a country feel, with lots of elbow room.
    (I would've taken one look at that crowded fitness center and turned around and gone back to bed.)

    1. Believe me- I wanted to! But the memory of running elbow to elbow with perfect strangers is strangely a good one. I can't explain why.

  2. I love this and know just what you mean about the claustrophobic feeling of large cities. My niece moved to Brooklyn a few months ago and even her Facebook pictures and status updates make me feel a little claustrophobic. I am most definitely NOT a city girl.

    1. There are parts of me that wish I were a city girl, but most of me is glad I'm not.