11 November 2009

Attack of the Killer Treadmill

This post is dedicated to those who (like me) have tried their hand at treadmill exercising... and been found (sorely) wanting.

For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things…  I Timothy 4:8

Donned in our fashionable exercise outfits (old sweats and worn out T shirts), my husband, myself, and our two (then) teens headed for the local YMCA to work out. Although it was 6:40 am, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed. This would be a family thing; we would do this as a team

Piling out of the car, we headed toward the fitness room. I chose the treadmill for a 20-minute warm-up--at least that was the intent. A quick hop on the machine and a simple push of the red button began the torture. I noticed the body clip dangling from the bar -- intended to halt the beast in case of a fall. “Who would fall walking?” I thought to myself incredulously. Halfway through my warm-up, I got the distinct notion I was alone. A quick glance about for my family only increased my suspicions. “Hey! Where were they?” I wondered indignantly.

 I craned my neck to search the room behind. Bad move. Looking backwards while feet are engaged on a forward moving conveyor belt is not a smart idea and a reason the safety clip was invented. While looking to my rear-left, I planted my right foot firmly on the only part of the platform not moving. My left foot was on the part that was. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem if (a) I were paying attention (b) I was holding on, and (c) the I-don’t-need-this-because-I’m-only-walking safety clip was attached to my body. 

My body slapped down on that human sander, and I was too stunned to let go of the bar I desperately grabbed while falling. Like it or not, I was treated to a complimentary exfoliation. The carnage didn’t end until I relinquished my death-grip and enjoyed a free ride to the end of the belt where I was dumped onto the floor in a heap. “Are you OK?” a gentleman exercising next to me asked. I grunted a “yes,” hoping others didn’t see my misfortune. “How embarrassing” an elderly woman remarked. She had her safety belt on. Apparently I was a good object lesson for others that day.

Nursing my wounds and my pride, I left the room walking as if I had undergone two knee replacements. So where was my "lets-get-up-early-so-we-can-go-to-the-fitness-center-and-work-out-together" family? I found them in the gym--happily kicking around a soccer ball. I rolled up my pant legs (to impress them with my skinless knees) and stood in the shadow of the gym door. It proved effective. "Where were you?!” I demanded. My husband took one look at my legs and his eyebrows furrowed with concern. I felt vindicated and quite the exercise martyr--until his eyebrows rose after discerning I had somehow fallen victim to the treadmill. He laughed. So much for sympathy. 

Returning to the fitness room with my supportive chuckling family, I pondered my harrowing experience on the killer treadmill and vowed revenge -- in another lifetime.

Knowing that bodily discipline is only of little profit compared to godliness, I resolved to concentrate on the godliness part.

It’s much safer.