I didn’t die; I’m just trying to win a gift basket.

The last time we spoke, I made some vague plans not to take pictures of cats and food. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve largely fulfilled this goal, mostly by not taking pictures of anything the last week and a half. Well, that’s not totally true. I just uploaded a hundred pictures from my camera from the last week, and there are a few more on my phone, but there’s nothing much there.

I’m feeling a little uninspired and the weather almost always discourages me from going out and getting pictures outside. But what’s really zapping my energy the last week and a half is a contest at my gym. Simply put, run the most miles on the treadmill in February. Whoever wins gets “a goodie basket.”

A. GOODIE. BASKET.

The three sweetest words in the English language, right? Wrong. So wrong. But I still want it. It’s reinvigorated my gym-going so I’ve been spending a lot of time there, especially because there’s two upstarts trying to beat me. Some might say that I’m the one trying to beat them, considering they’re in the lead, but whatever. Today I brought my camera with me and took just a handful of pictures that epitomize the experience for me.

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This is what I’m used to seeing when I go to the gym: empty streets. If there’s a car parked right in front of the gym, I groan. “But this place belongs to me,” I say in my most sniveling interior voice. Sometimes it’s just like a spare car, though. There’s no one inside when I get there. You can see it was warm today — or is that “warm”? — because there’s water in the street! Still! At night! That’s how warm it is.

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This is what I hope to see when I walk in the door: darkness, except in the entryway. The gym is mine, all mine.

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And this is what I usually look at when I’m running. There are TVs there, but they’re up rather high and it’s tough to crane my head and run at the same time. And sometimes I watch stuff on my phone — the wonders of modern technology I’m only just discovering — but the internet connection is a little slow for that. Suffice it to say I miss running outside.

So that’s a little slice of life for tonight.

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