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On Your Table Blog

January 13, 2021

12 freakin' miles

12 freakin' miles

By Kelli Bowen

Sometimes I make big goals for myself, so big they can be scary.

I heard of a group who are making a goal of logging 100 miles in 100 days. Holy cow. That sounds big. That sounds huge, especially when I’m not one to log miles, or steps, or anything.

Since I need to do different things to get different results, I joined. I thought one mile a day seems very manageable. Fast forward one month. It seems I’m only good at getting my one mile a day logged a little over half the time, so here I am 31 days in and only 19 miles logged. Oops.

I can’t fail at this. I already ordered the dang shirt. I can’t wear the shirt if I only get 63% of the miles logged, so I decided it was time to kick my own butt.

I set foot into a place I haven’t been for well over a year, and if we are being honest, it might be well over two; the gym.

I sauntered my leggings-clad pile of disappointment up to the front desk, day pass in hand, and asked for a key fob. I had to give her my ID to hold, like a college kid starting a tab at the bar, to make sure I wasn’t going to skip out without paying, or in this case, without returning the fob. With the trade done, I swiped for a green light and walked into the almost-vacant machine room.

A man more than double my age was jogging on a treadmill. I was looking for a recumbent bike and the only one was directly in front of Grandpa. Super. In a room full of unused equipment, I’m going to amble up and make this awkward the first 2 minutes.

After adjusting and reacquainting myself with the machine I started on my mission: 12 miles. I’m going to make up for lost time. A half mile in, I allowed myself to believe this wasn’t an insane goal, considering I haven’t peddled anything for months, I was making good time, the first 1/2 mile clicked by quite quickly. Speaking of time, just then, Father Time came over to ask me if I could use my fob to let him out of the gym. He didn’t want to exit the building, he wanted to go through another area that required a fob to access, and his wasn’t working.

Briefly I thought the Bob Barker lookalike might be a traveling axe murderer and this was his ploy to lure unsuspecting middle aged women so he could chop me to bits and stuff me in a locker. With the other option peddling another 11 1/2 miles, I decided to wander off with the octogenarian and take my chances.

I lived. He went into the next room. I returned to my machine, and it had cleared out my progress. Shit. I briefly debated giving up on this whole mess, but climbed my fluffy-butt back into the machine and started peddling, from scratch.

Six miles in I needed a break to the little girls room. I took a photo for posterity of the machine as proof of the first six miles (not counting before I helped Grandpa beat the fob system). I decided to try another machine.

6 miles down, 6 to go...

I chose to go with a kind of elliptical/stepper/bike type thing with all kinds of foot rests and arm levers. It had a dial to track distance and it lit up when I started moving. Good enough.

Dear sweet baby Jesus: why do I love salty snacks and being sedentary so much? I don’t have the stamina for this... I talked myself into going 1/4 mile at a time, cause that’s how I live my life...(if the OG Fast and the Furious just popped into your head, congratulations, we can be friends).

It took me way longer than I was anticipating. I can feel my legs angrily scolding me. My arms are tired. I’m thirsty but worry I’m not coordinated enough to grab my water bottle without taking a swinging arm to the face or accidentally slipping off a pedal, so I keep going, and I finish! I went over 12 miles today!! I took another photo of the second machine.

And 6 more miles!

I went to the front desk to return the fob. Frankie Front Desk said she thought I’d forgotten to come back. Yes. It took so long to finish my workout, staff thought I had left. But guess what? I finished. I shrugged it off. I heard my friend Amy, whose gone Home to Heaven, remind me I out-lapped everyone sitting on the couch. I smiled and hopped in my car to go home. Sometimes I make big goals for myself, so big they can be scary, and it’s really pretty cool when I accomplish them.

Kelli Bowen Kelli makes her home in Cass County with her husband, two daughters (8 and 5) and two dogs. She works for a regional seed company by day and tries to be an alright mom, wife, friend and writer by night.

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