I want to be in bed, with a pile of children's books.
Cat at my feet, purring and grooming. Then he will settle in and slumber.
I want a big cup of water by my side, which will promptly make me have to pee just minutes after I begin to read.
I want to take a fake nap, squirming down under the covers and closing my eyes for five minutes, no more.
Then I will rise and read once again.
Change my pants and pull on long, thick socks.
Eventually I will regain steam and pull on my sports bra and shorts.
I will trade my long socks for athletic versions.
One sock, two sock, left foot, right foot.
I will dilly. I will dally. I always dally and dilly before heading to the gym. I am not one to break tradition.
I want to fill my water bottle from the kitchen tap.
Shuffle to the door to don my shoes. Tie them up, knot, knot. Slowly get to my feet. Turn the knob. Shuffle, shuffle to the car.
I will be sleepy during my drive. The speakers will release a blanket of music, wrapping me as I dreamily rouse.
The lights at the gym will be harsh, the beep too loud as my ID card scans.
I want to carry on.
I will lace my ergonomic headphones around the backs of my ears, silicone on pinnae. I will slip the button to "On."
Celine, or Mr. McGraw, or some Indian artist I can't name will begin to croon, or play the sitar, or both.
I will let my germs join with those on the treadmill keypad. "Manual," I will press. "Weight," "Incline," "Speed."
"Begin Workout," it will communicate back, red letters on black.
The belt will shift. One step, two step, left foot, right foot.
Soon I will be walking.
The world will seem oppressive. I will still be sleepy, the foundation beneath me demanding motion. Quick. Brisk.
I won't want to walk.
But I will.
I will daydream about the pile of children's books, the pile to which I will return, later drowsy and energized, ready to sleep but craving words to cross my vision before I do.
I want to walk. I want to read.
And I will. Through this pattern I will pass, again and again. Words and motion. Rest and revival.