I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think my treadmill may be trying to kill me.
I don’t say this merely because I am some sort of an exerphobe. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am definitely an exerphobe, but that is not what is fueling my fears of technological misconduct here. I am after all, a long time hater of anything and everything workout related, but I’ve never thought it was plotting my demise. This is different.
Now, you may think I’m taking a bit of an extreme viewpoint here. Hate, as my mother told me time and time again, is a strong word. As a child I was not even allowed to hate anyone. I could dislike them. A lot. A really, really awful, awful lot. As long as I didn’t hate them. But I do hate exercise.
My husband keeps trying to tell me that I’m just not giving it enough of a chance. Every time I sit down red-faced, out of breath and complaining about sore muscles, he cheerfully tells me that I’m going to grow to like it. He says this as if the concept of exercise is somehow new to me rather than something I’ve been battling my whole life. It seems he’s managed to forget that before I got pregnant with our two awesome children, I lost 50 lbs and not just by eating a ridiculously small amount of calories each day (1200-1300 to be exact). I visited our apartment gym several times a week. I kept charts of my routines. I peddled that elliptical machine, increasing my speed every few minutes until I could do 45 minutes no problem. I know what exercise feels like. And I want to be clear here: I don’t like it.
I get what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to encourage me. And I think he actually thinks that if I do it enough I’m going to become addicted and really like it. I understand that happens to some people. I have friends who do silly things like run every day for fun. Some do it to relieve stress. Some of them even get some sort of endorphin high from it. Not me. I find reading, watching movies and eating chocolate fun. Exercise not only doesn’t relieve stress, but causes me even more because I don’t like being all sweaty, and tired and smelly. And, I don’t get any sort of rush from it. Mostly I just feel sleepy.
I don’t exercise because I take any sort of pleasure in it. I don’t even do it because I know it’s good for me. I do know that, but as my mom also liked to point out, lima beans are good for me. I know it, but they taste like dirt and even though I had to eat every last one off my plate when I was a kid, I’m a grown up now and I don’t have to eat ’em, so there is no way in hell I will. I may know all the health benefits of exercise (and lima beans for that matter), but that’s not at all what motivates me to get back on the treadmill.
I do it because I have to. Years and years and some more years of dieting have taught me that if I want to drop this extra chub and get into my pre-pregnancy clothes, just cutting fat and calories alone won’t do it for me. I have to get somewhat active to boot.
But, I don’t have to like it. And I never, ever, ever will, no matter how many times my husband tries to tell me I will. He says the same thing about beer, and it’s been 17 years since I had my first taste and I haven’t developed that taste yet. And I’ve been trying to muddle through this exercise thing for even longer.
Nope, I am not that girl.
But my extensive loathing for exercising has nothing to do with my fear of my treadmill. And no, this is not some sort of rebellion against working out. Neither is it all in my mind. My treadmill really does have it in for me.
See, a few weeks ago when I started using it again, I noticed an odd little quirk. Suddenly, and for no reason I could figure out, as I was walking at a nice, easy 2.8 mph, it suddenly started speeding up. Now, the readout still clearly said 2.8 miles, but that is not what was going on under my feet. That thing was rolling like crazy and I found myself having to jog to keep up. When I tried to slow the speed down, it reported a slower speed, but didn’t actually slow down even a teeny, tiny bit. When I tried to pause it to catch my breath, it refused to pause. It just kept rolling, rolling, rolling. Hell, when I tried to stop it it was a no go. Only when I jumped off and pulled the emergency rope did it actually stop. And then it came to a near dead halt.
When I got back on, it seemed to work fine for a few minutes. Then, lo and behold, it started getting harder and harder to keep up because the belt started spinning at a crazy rate. I tried stopping it again, but no dice. I held the stop button in and it did reset the machine without the abrupt stop. When I tried to fire it up a third time, it was fine.
Now, every time I get on it’s a crap shoot of sorts. I could probably take odds in Vegas for how many resets I have to do before I get the speeds I actually want (or I think I want, for all I know even though it’s slowed a bit, it could still be lying to me). My husband has a theory that it might be due to all the little brown outs we have. Our power switches off for just a millisecond and then comes back up. He thinks it may have fried the “brain” of the machine a little. And I’ll be honest, when he uses the term “brain” to describe the machine, it creeps me out. Because now all I can imagine is it sitting down there, lying in wait for me, plotting, oh ever so cleverly plotting my demise.
I’m really quite afraid to get on it. I fear for my safety, but I know it’s one of those risks I have to take if I want to get back in my cute khaki’s before Christmas break.
See, I told you my treadmill was trying to kill me.