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The Marathoner And The Exercise Bike

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A small town with few people had a fitness center in an abandon hardware store. The center had two treadmills, one elliptical, three weig...

A small town with few people had a fitness center in an abandon hardware store. The center had two treadmills, one elliptical, three weight machines, and three exercise bikes. One of the regulars of the fitness center was a girl of twenty--tall, slim, and determined. She drove twenty miles both ways to college three times a week, worked a part-time job, and exercised daily. Not only did she come to the fitness center every day; she ran six to twelve miles every morning, and more, much more on weekends. She loved to run long distances.

In the fitness center, she used all the equipment indiscriminately, except the exercise bikes. She had one favorite bike that she always rode. It was a different model than the others, and she thought it cuter, sleeker. She rode it almost daily, and often she talked to it. Of all the machines, she thought the bike was the most beneficial to her.

One day, the girl told the bike that in a month she would be in a big marathon race, the biggest race in that region. If she won, she would be just a few races away from running in the summer Olympics, just a year away. She had a chance to be an Olympic marathoner. For a month, she trained harder than she ever had. She put a book stand on the bike, so she could study while she rode it. The townspeople, very proud of her, would stop by to offer encouragement.

A month went by, when she finally brought news to the bike. She hopped on the bike, hugged it, then started paddling. She told the bike she had won the race. Not only that, she came within a few minutes of the world’s record for women. Now she had a new race to train for, which would come up in four months. It would be held in another state, almost a thousand miles away, and the best women marathoners in America would be there. She would have to keep training.

Two weeks later, a big delivery came to the fitness center. The town had taken up a collection and bought a new, bigger, state-of-the-art exercise bike. They bought it so the girl would have the best possible equipment to train with. The bike had more adjustments, had computer programs; it even measured heart rate and blood pressure. The girl now trained exclusively on the new exercise bike. She did not talk to the new bike as she had the old one, but since the town had bought it, she felt obliged to use it. She continued to train just as hard as before.

Finally, after much training and hard work, the girl left for the big race. When she returned to the fitness center, the girl went straight to the old exercise bike, the one she had not ridden for months. She had lost the race. She ran the race in the same time as the previous race, but the competition had been much faster. She finished eleventh.

She still had a chance to be in the Olympics because there were other races to be run, but now she promised that she would do it with her old friend.

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I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. -Gilda Radner -actress and comedian (1946-1989)

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The Evolving Monkey : The Marathoner And The Exercise Bike
The Marathoner And The Exercise Bike
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The Evolving Monkey
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