The Treadmill We Call Life

Approximate reading time=3minMy time spent training to be picked up by a professional football team was a grueling one. I constantly and consistently trained, following one of the most grueling systems in sport training. The technical name for it is High Intensity Training (HIT). This is physical trainer jargon made popular by Arthur Jones, the founder of Nautilus. It simply is a form of training that focuses on the trainee performing a certain exercise with intensity until there is muscle failure, hence the word high intensity. Eddie Mason, owner of MASE Training LLC, adopted this method of training and this is who I learned from.

One exercise which we did for speed improvement was one that would leave anyone gasping for air and also indelibly left your breakfast on the ground. The workout consisted of a high speed treadmill and a heavy-duty, thick resistance band. Before mounting the treadmill the trainee would place the resistance band around their waist while the trainer would stand behind them on ground level. The trainer would say, “GO!” as the trainee would strategically begin to run as the treadmill was already revolving at a high speed. As the trainee is running, the trainer is pulling on the band creating tension. The idea of this exercise is to get the trainee to increase their leg turnover rate making them run faster in normal running conditions. It’s a form of tricking the nervous system to respond faster than usual. If the trainee doesn’t keep up with the treadmill and doesn’t resist the pulling of the band, they’ll end up falling off of the back of the treadmill. That would be pretty nasty.

You can guess that doing this for 30 sec feels like an eternity. Literally, it feels like you are going to die, but this is the price that is paid if playing professional football is your goal. There was a bucket in the gym that we called “Coach Earl.” I believe you know why. The pain endured in this exercise was excruciating. The lactic acid build-up made your legs feel like they were on FIRE. Once your time was up and after dismounting the treadmill your first thought is, “I CAN’T BREATHE, MY LEGS HURT, I CAN’T GET COMFORTABLE AAAHHH.” Nothing that you do will relieve your legs of the pain and after a period of rest, which seemed short, we had to go again.

I remember rolling on my bottom trying to get the pain and burn to stop but it just wouldn’t. It’s an extremely miserable feeling. However, there is one life lesson that I learned from this exercise and it is this.

Life is like the treadmill. Life will continue to revolve whether we decide to hop on and run or not. Life will continue to go, but when we do hit the track keeping up in this fast paced life is difficult at times. If that wasn’t bad enough, life has the tendency to sometimes bring a thick resistance band into our world and now it’s even harder to make it through. The resistance bad could be a personal sickness or a sickness in the family. It could be getting laid off from work, it could be a personal tragedy, or it could be an unexpected occurrence. It doesn’t matter what it is, life has a way of bringing those things, and while trying to keep consistent in a fast paced life and deal with the resistances of life, it begins to hurt pretty badly.

Sometimes it feels like you can’t breathe, and you are emotionally hurting, and you can’t find comfort anywhere. Well, there is hope because even though it was in the gym, I learned a valuable life lesson.

As I squirmed on the ground looking for relief dreading the moment when it was my turn to go again, I began to realize this one thing. While off of the treadmill there was nothing that I could do to hide from the pain. The only way to get through the pain and reduce the pain was to get back on the treadmill. Ironically the very thing that caused my pain was the same thing that took it away. Of course we know the reason is because running causes the lactic acid to move, while sitting down caused it to become stagnate resting in my leg muscles. However, life isn’t much different. There are times where we are going to want to call it quits and sit on the sideline, but sitting will only cause the pain to worsen. The only way to find your way through the pain is to go back to the thing that caused your pain, and that is life. In the end, I knew that the treadmill and the resistance band were for my benefit even though it felt like it was my enemy. Life will often times feel like your enemy, but believe me those things that we suffer in life are only there to make us stronger on the other end.

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