I am running on a treadmill because the roads and pavements are too slippery in this man-created world in a harsh and early unexpected winter.
I am running because I want to see my heartrate come up, to know I have a heartbeat, a pulse, after the shock of thinking climate change means warmth.
I am running because this is the only thing that keeps my feet warm, “Warm feet, warm feet,” my mantra, one foot, then the other, slowly the layers come off.
I am running to summon the heat from within not the electric heater.
I am running for endurance, I am running for strength, I am running for salvation, breaking down my nine miles into inclines and sprints and imagining I am escaping grenades and bombs in some underground city of ice.
I am running because I am safe, I am privileged, I can afford to go to the gym.
I am running to escape my guilt.
I am running because keeping goals is the only dignity this world allows us.
I am running to escape my flaws, which are without number, cannot be counted.
I am running, but going nowhere, wondering if I might set foot on the spirit paths, if other runners go elsewhere and there is a place where treadmills meet.
I am running on a treadmill because no path is ever dark or challenging enough.
I am running the tread off the treadmill, aiming for the stars, hoping if I get to the North Star in this bitter cold I might be able to reset my compass, start again.
I am running on a treadmill in an Arctic blast and my feet cannot keep my pace.
*For over a week, due to an Arctic Blast, we experienced temperatures down to -6°C here in Lancashire and colder in other parts of the UK. As it snowed and then froze the icy conditions made it very difficult to walk on the pavements let alone run.
**With thanks to my local JD Gym in Preston for providing somewhere to work out (and run when the weather is awful) for a reasonable price.