I have made a most wonderful discovery.
Yesterday I was signing in the kids at the gym nursery when I noticed the parent just before me had listed her location as "greenway." The nursery policy states that parents must remain at the facility while kids are in the nursery. I always assumed that meant we had to be in the facility. But when I asked yesterday, the workers told me we are allowed to go on the greenway (which runs behind the gym) as long as we take our cell phone with us.
I could hardly contain myself. I scratched out "treadmill," scribbled in "greenway," kissed the kids and hit the trail.
It just happened to be the most beautiful day for an outdoor run, made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it was entirely unexpected. The first few minutes were fueled by pure delight and disbelief. I couldn't stop thinking how great it was to be running with just my thoughts and a fall breeze. No bad TV to settle for, no broken headphones to occasionally shock my ears, no stinky strangers huffing and puffing beside me. I even saw a deer -- twice.
Having access to the greenway also opens up some other appealing possibilities, such as meeting Melissa, who works in the building behind the gym, for a walk on the greenway, or leaving one Evan in the nursery while taking Claire on a nature walk.
To be honest, I still am not completely convinced that going on the greenway is technically within the bounds of the policy. It makes sense that parents should be readily accessible in case they're needed (and I did keep my run within a close radius, but it's not the same as being in the same building).
However, it's been months since I had to cut a workout short because of the kids, and as long as the nursery workers are giving me the go-ahead, I'm going to take advantage of belonging to a gym that backs up to a greenway. Bliss!