Tread and Dread


Three firefighters died while fighting wildfires in Washington State. A total of 22 died throughout Oregon, California,  and Washington.  Several thousand  people lost their homes or were evacuated due to safety.  The fires set a record in acres consumed.  At this point, National Guard, Army Active Duty, and fire teams from other countries are involved.  The air quality throughout the state is horrible. May the firefighters stay safe and the fires controlled.  Blessings for the family and friends of those killed.

All I have to worry about with the fires is running inside on a treadmill because of air quality.  It’s a small concern overall.  This blog is about how a runner stays entertained while running on a treadmill because of air quality.   It is not meant to put down what is happening with the fires.

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A bane of most runners’ workouts is the dreaded treadmill, or dreadmill.  Today was my turn to experience the boredom.

One must have a plan to complete a dreadmill workout.  You are truly on a road to nowhere; it’s the same scenery.  It gets worse as run time and mileage are longer.  Many runners zone out listening to music on iPods.  Since I no longer tolerate sounds well, I have to amuse myself in other ways.

The TBI affected my intelligence and attention span.  For example, my math skills are now at a 5th grade level.  I completed a class in calculus at one point.  Big change.  I practiced the multiplication table to pass time.  It went ok for a few numbers.  Then I got to 6.  The finger counting began.  Six times seven… Let’s see… Six times six is 36. So: 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42.  It’s 42.  Mind you, I counted on fingers or I lost my place.  Then, the sevens.  Seven times six is… So: 7×5 is 35.  And so goes the finger counting 421 that’s it.  I couldn’t reverse the numbers although I understand they are equal.  I last until the nines table.  My head was toast.  The thought.. “I’m not smarter than a 5th grader.”  Cute show.

Next game: watch traffic and come up with stories about the people.  One was about a man going to see his girlfriend.  He stopped at McDonald’s and choked on a McNugget.  Another: Her ferret stole the last apple, dragged it under the couch, and ate all of it. (note: ferrets are carnivores.  They shouldn’t eat apples.  And a full apple would be a huge meal for a ferret).  The horse trailer that stopped on the road in front of the gym so the guys could get coffee was interesting.  It was huge.  And had some nice looking horses at least their butts which was all I could see.  I rapidly got bored.

Next: Name animals in alphabetical order.
A: Anteater
B. Badger This is where it went horribly wrong. The song “Badger badger Mushroom” popped into my head immediately. For those not familiar with it, the song’s words are: “Badger, Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger; Mushroom. Mushroom. ” This repeats several times, then “It’s a snake… a snake… oh, it’s a snake.” Now, back to badger. So much fun to have stuck in your head.
For those of you who are curious just how bad it can be, here’s the link. Listen at your own risk. Badger Badger
To get that charming little ditty out of my head I resorted to singing Marine and Army cadences in my head. It worked. (looking at the readout: crap, 15 more minutes)

I continued my alphabet game with C,D, and E. Of course, F was FERRET! Such cute little critters. I need to clean their cage…
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As I went through the remaining letters, there were some I couldn’t think of an animal. Others, I named food first. For example, “H= Hamburger… no, no. It’s a food. Hawk. That’s it.” I was getting hungry… mmmm… food. I wonder if I can get a friend to drive me for a Blizzard?

Eventually, the run ends. Just in time. R was for “Restroom.”

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