Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 491

The treadmill of life

1 Department Neurology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

Date of Submission19-Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance05-Jan-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Nitin K Sethi
Associate Professor of Neurology, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 East, 68th Street, New York, NY 10065
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_1084_21

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How to cite this article:
Sethi PK, Sethi NK. The treadmill of life. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2022;25:491

How to cite this URL:
Sethi PK, Sethi NK. The treadmill of life. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 6];25:491. Available from:

Life is like a treadmill; call it the treadmill of life. We all must learn to wait patiently for our turn to get on this fast-moving treadmill. During the waiting period, one has to be patient. We need to remember that opportunities will come our way sooner or later. One needs to set goals in life: what you wish to achieve, how you plan to achieve it, and at what speed you plan to go about accomplishing those goals. The speed may not be clear to us at the start, but the desire to achieve those goals should certainly be there. One needs to be passionate but not desperate. One should enjoy the ride. Sometimes, when I go to the gym, I find all treadmills occupied. I have learned to wait for my turn. A card posted on the wall requests members to be considerate of others and not use the treadmill for more than 15 minutes. Often, people ignore the sign. I have learned to be patient and await my turn. Once your time comes and you are on the treadmill, you can choose your style (run versus walk) and speed. If you choose to run, run only as fast as you need to. Be kind to your knees; you shall need them when you get old! Once, upon entering my gym, when I saw only one treadmill unoccupied, I ran to occupy it. To my surprise, it was still running. In my haste, I had jumped on a running treadmill and nearly fell. This is true for life too. Running to achieve your goals and taking shortcuts do not always yield desired results. Sometimes, one falls and falls hard. In Delhi, power cuts are frequent and unexpected. My gym lacks a backup generator. Sometimes, while walking on the treadmill, it will come to an abrupt stop during a power outage. I have learned to be aware of this and have avoided a couple of nasty tumbles. Life too sometimes throws lemons at us, curveballs that strike us when we least expect them. A sudden unexpected loss in business or a sudden unexpected health emergency like a heart attack or stroke. Be aware of this, be humble for the higher we rise the harder we fall. The cooling-off period is a very important part of my treadmill routine. The treadmill slowly decelerates, and the incline gradually declines to baseline. After a vigorous workout, the cooling-off period is intended to gradually lessen the impact on the muscles and the heart and to return them to their pre-exercise physiological state. One feels relaxed after a great workout. Similarly, in life, retirement looms. One should anticipate this and be prepared for it. It is time to step off the treadmill of life mentally and physically but not leave it altogether! We each must find hobbies and tasks to keep our brains occupied so that we do not slip into the throes of depression. Some among us shall choose to mount the treadmill again and find a new job; others shall dismount from the treadmill completely and choose to spend time with family and friends. The humble treadmill that we encounter in our gyms teaches us many valuable life lessons.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”—Lao Tzu

“The journey not the arrival matters.”—T. S. Eliot

Author contributions

PKS and NKS conceived, drafted, and revised the manuscript.


PKS reports no disclosures. NKS serves as Associate Editor, The Eastern Journal of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief, ARP Journal of Combat Sports Medicine.

Data sharing statement

The authors have no additional data to share.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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