Because Atlanta felt very much like an oven today, I decided I should embrace the gym in the Gables complex.
It's very small, with only two treadmills situated next to each other, facing a mirrored wall. One of the two treadmills was taken by a boy, we'll call him Charlie.
Other than the sound of Charlie's feet, the 12 by 12 room was empty and silent. As I got onto the treadmill, I sized him up. He had already been running for five minutes, but was going a little slower than I intended. I didn't want to turn it in to a competition or anything, I just wanted to assess the situation.
About one minute after I began, I noticed that he had picked up his pace to match mine, and we were suddenly completely in sync. Anyone that has run in groups knows that it is common to fall into stride with those around you, but considering he had been going much slower when I sneaked a peak, I was caught off guard.
Because I find treadmills utterly boring, I thought I'd amuse myself a little. So, I picked up my pace just a bit and increased my speed by .2. I pretended to be preoccupied with something outside the window and watched as Charlie also increased his speed. So, I continued to increase the speed for another half mile or so, enjoying the game so much that I didn't even realize I was actually enhancing my workout at the same time. Just how far could I push Mr. Wright? (I gave him a last name in my head, by the way).
All of the sudden, I started laughing and I couldn't stop. Considering the room was completely silent, and we were staring each other down in the mirror, it was seriously awkward. It was the kind of humor that is similar to that of moving furniture. I'm not entirely sure why the situation makes me laugh, but once I start, I just can't stop.
It went on like this for a good two minutes, where I would start to laugh, then try to focus on the numbers before me in order to avoid making eye contact in the mirror. I promise, though, at one point he was smiling too.
There we were, doing the side by side, just the two of us in the tiny room. I looked in the mirror at our reflection, dressed in white runners, black shorts and blue shirts (crazy, I know!). We were both sweating and the only noise was the sound of our feet hitting the treadmill at the same time. In a strange way, something about it felt...intimate. It was as if we were sharing this moment and forging an unknown bond.
I almost felt like I wanted to strike up a conversation with him.
As I was trying to resist the temptation of laughing and of talking to him (a real double threat) I thought that this would be the perfect start to a commercial.
The commercial would begin by showing only Charlie's face, then zoom out a little to show mine too. It would stay focused on our faces as we ran side by side, bouncing up and down together while Chariots of Fire played in the background (the 2003 re-master version, obviously).
Words would come up on the screen that say: She's who you come home to after a long day at work.
Then it would slowly zoom out and reveal our matching outfits, and the words would say: She can read your mind.
Next, it would show the fact that we were actually on treadmills. Then, as it panned out further, you'd see a blizzard outside the large windows behind us, and it would say: She doesn't think it's crazy that you insist on running every single day.
Then, he'd stop running and step off the treadmill. He'd get down on one knee and pull a diamond out of the tiny little pocket inside of his running shorts. He'd say, Whitney, I want to be with you for the rest of my life...
And the screen would say: She's who you'll run with forever.
Then, it would go black and it would say: Till death do us part. Run Nike.