Back at it today, after several days off. 4.24 miles, which pleased me. It still truly surprises me how glad I am to get back on the dumb treadmill. It is good to feel like I am moving forward, I think, and good to feel like I am control of something. This is what I am learning: that what we do with our bodies is one of the few things we truly have some say in, all the time.

People came and went as I hung in there for my hour. It interests me how long they stay and how they structure their runs or walks. I marvel at the people who just jump on and start a blasting run. They are often not the visibly super-fit; just average, reasonable looking people from middle-aged balding dudes to short semi-dumpy moms, to nerdy super-thin young guys who look like their arms would break off if they attempted a pull-up. How do they do it? Will I ever be able to do this? I mean, I was the teen who would walk the 600-yard-dash in school, flipping off the pissed-off nazi gym teacher when she wasn't paying attention. Thirty years later, and I bet she is still there, scowling at some other pseudo-rebel, walking the track.

My favorite person at the gym was the older Asian woman who would alternate very fast running with very slow walking. When she ran, she would hold on really tightly to the bars and slam her little feet sort of straight down on the tread very loudly, like an odd dance. PAM PAM PAM PAM PAM PAM. She was great.

After I finished up, I wiped down the machine and went and sat down with my back against the wall to eat a yogurt and drink some fluids that are advertised to replenish and revive me. I watch all the butts climb the never-ending stairs, flail away soundlessly on the ellipticals, or PAM PAM PAM away on the treadmills. I listen to my ipod and smile at the songs that shuffle my way. I take my time, I rest, and I think. Today's small victory.