I like to think this way. Sometime in May this girl - blond, ponytail, glasses, and a book - started coming to the exercise room in the morning. Mostly she sat down on the floor reading her book, or walked back and forth reading her book, waiting for me to get off the treadmill. I felt bad she had to wait, and I never let her wait more than a half an hour (once), which a sign on the wall proclaimed to be the utmost acceptable in terms of gym etiquette.
I started to come in earlier, so we would not overlap, and I actually expected her to start coming in later, the logical thing to do if she wanted to cut down on waiting. But instead she started coming in earlier and earlier, and one day she was there before me, walking the treadmill and reading her book. It was 5:30 am, and at first she used to come in after 6. The next day she was there again. And the next day after that.
I could not wait. When I run, I end up being almost late at work anyhow. I ran outside, which I did not like, because I lost the feed-back of the treadmill, and because the ground in the apartment complex is uneven. I don't know why they call the desert flat. Albuquerque sits practically in a cauldron, and there is no stretch of street, either east-west, or north-south, that doesn't go up or down, sooner or later. Running around the apartment complex was heavy incline work.
Which worked out wonderfully, because after three weeks of the blond girl beating me to the treadmill my endurance and speed on slopes had increased, and I was ready for the outside track where I do the "big runs," and where one mile in three is steeply uphill. About that time, abruptly, the girl stopped coming to the exercise room, and I have not seen her since. She seems to have appeared there for the sole reason of forcing me to run outside. Oh, I know, I know, her affair with the treadmill had a different scope and meaning to her than it had to me.
I just hope that being "grounded" now happens for a reason as well.