Thursdays aren't my usual gym days. Not because I have a prior engagement on Thursdays, but because there's not a class that night that I enjoy taking. But this past Thursday, when my plans for the evening were canceled, I decided to make up for the cheeseburger and ton of fries I had for lunch and hit the elliptical.
With my dainty little iPod in hand, I stretched and limbered up in preparation for the hour of work ahead of me. Though I have a workout playlist, I thought I'd take my chances with Shuffle. It carried me through my warm up with a little Kanye West, the drifted into too-slow Jonny Lang. I forwarded my way through until I hit the faster songs, the ones that got me moving and made me forget about the time I had left, the miles I still wanted to go.
Looking like an idiot, I silently sang along with each song, my body trying to dance despite the fact that my feet were occupied with the machine. I moved my mouth and pumped my arms and couldn't resist tapping along with the beat on the handles. It got me through my first half hour with no problems, making me forget that I had a whole half hour left.
It was when I had to reset the elliptical at the half hour mark that I noticed it: The battery indicator on my iPod, glowing red. I was running out of time. I was tired, though, and sort of grateful that my music would soon give out, as it felt like my thighs were threatening to give out, too. So I made a deal with myself: I'd keep going as long as the iPod did.
Song after song, I waited for that indicator to flash empty and for the screen to go blank, for the techno music currently playing to come to an abrupt halt. I ached for its end, pushing myself just enough to get through until the certain snap of silence came.
But it didn't. The music kept going. And going. And going.
So did I.
And, after over a full hour on the machine, I was finally able to stop; but because my time was up, not because the iPod gave out. Sweat poured down my face and torso as I slowly removed myself from the contraption, music still pumping away directly into my eardrums.
I would've quit, I would've been happy to. But I needed to keep going, and my trusty little iPod knew that.
Thank God for technology.