Note to Self

Episode 7 — Of Treadmills and Tabla

Aarish Shah
2 min readFeb 13, 2021


We’ve had a bit of a cold snap here in London this last week or so and that’s put a bit of a dent in my ability to get outside and get through my daily walk and run.

So instead I’ve had to resort to the little, second hand treadmill we bought part way through lockdown one in case of exactly such an eventuality.

But, this treadmill, it’s narrow and permanently slightly inclined and the belt catches and judders and running on it, inside in the heat, with no air flowing around me is nothing like the joy of running outdoors.

But here’s the thing.

You have to look to the positive, make the best of the reality you’re in. I’m not the sort of guy to drop a couple of grand on a Peloton or something equivalent so if I’m going to have to run on a treadmill then this is the treadmill I’m going to have to run on.

First let’s take a step back.

Ordinarily, on my walk / runs, I’m listening to a podcast — Galloway and Swisher, a16z, Zakaria, Oh God What Now or — of late — Off Menu for a bit of levity.

But, indoors, on the treadmill, not going anywhere? These podcasts became monotonous — not in their content but rather in my ability to remain engaged. Outdoors with no limit, no destination just listening till I stopped was fine, but on the treadmill it was like a constant reminder of how little time I’d been going and just worked to demotivate me.

So I started doing some of my daily routines, my language app or my coding app or reading the FT (none of which you can do easily whilst walking outdoors). And that helped during the walking, but not particularly doable for the running.

So I did the only thing that made sense.

I turned back to music.

I’ve always loved running to music, a bit of drum and bass has the ability to really get me going but I thought it might be interesting to try something different.

And so came the tabla.

For those that don’t know, tabla are Indian percussive instruments, a pair of hand drums that accompany classical instruments like the sitar.



Aarish Shah

Generalist | Thinker | Life Long Learner | Writer | Photographer