I just about died today. Nearly, honestly. This isn’t one of those over dramatized stories, this is all true. And it happened the day before the American elections.
My last breath was almost taken on a treadmill at the local gym at 8:16am Monday morning.
It was a typical workout, all going according to schedule. I had set my usual fast walking pace up an incline of 5 (something-or-others) and was hitting it hard. Not sweating mind you, but puffing, yes there was most certainly some puffing I’m sure.
I was watching the election coverage on the screen in front of me, hard to avoid the day before the election. No, this wasn’t how I nearly died- it was far more spectacular. Boredom, repetition, fear mongering, bullying, and conspiracy could just about kill a girl, but not this time. I heard debates about the economy, poll analysis, speculation about voting fraud, suspicion, doubt and anger. I also heard my heartbeat in my ears. Same-old-same-old
I climbed that level 5 like my life depended on it. I climbed it as though the golden carrot of equality and compassion for all was within reach. I climbed that treadmill for women, for the sick, poor, gay, and for wounded veterans. I strode large strong steps for the environment, for peace and the good of the world. I climbed my level 5 incline as though my life and the lives of all depended on it.
Until I needed a drink.
I grabbed the water bottle, took a swig and then folks- my life flashed before me, or at least the dull faces of the 3 men discussing Ohio’s significance. I begged for this not to be my final image. Please dear god cut to that ad with the puppies playing in toilet paper- you know the one…….
Which brings me to this question, have you ever heard of a near drowning on a treadmill? No? Perhaps I was going to be the first case. It was all very awkward strange an now a bit of a blur- it had something to do with the circumference of the mouthpiece and the rate at which I was walking very very fast. Combining the two resulted in me gulping a huge mouthful simultaneously with a tidal wave rushing into my nose. Within seconds I had two options. Breathe the water in my nose into my lungs, or spit the entire gulp all over the treadmill. I was stuck for eternity with the dismal voices of politics in my ears, a nose full of water and a mouth full of fear.
I could not believe this was how I was going out. I would never know the outcome of the elections, and I would be that woman who drowned on a treadmill. In that moment I wasn’t sure which was worse and instantly decided to fight for my life. I gulped that water down followed by the air from the entire room, which made a graphic gasping noise, similar to someone having been submerged in a sinking car.
So here I sit now, swearing to never combine drinking and walking on an incline, while listening to political schmolitcal talk again. THAT will NOT be how I go out. No, I have much bigger plans, plans that involve voting and changing the world!
Footnote: Although I cannot actually vote (not being an American and all) I still plan on changing the world, well my bit, right here.