Exercised over new equipment

March 20, 2006|By KEVIN COWHERD

There's a new piece of exercise equipment in our house that's getting a great deal of use, and when I say "a great deal of use," I am, of course, lying.

It's my wife's new treadmill, the one she had me drag out of her car, up the driveway, into the house and down a flight of steps to the family room.

Oh, you should see this baby.

It has a calorie counter, heart monitor and pulse sensor.

It has a "Power Incline" button and a "Speed Control" dial you can set for any of four "Speed Training Zones" you wish to experience.

Yep, it's a real beauty.

We've had it for two weeks now.

And, of course, she hasn't used it once.

"I've just been a little busy," she said the other day. "But I plan to start using it real soon."



The fact is, I can already see the future of this treadmill, and that future can be summed up in two words: Yard sale.

I say this because it was at various yard sales that we unloaded an earlier treadmill my wife never used, as well as a stationary bike she never used, a NordicTrack she never used, and an Ab Roller she never used.

In fact, I got more exercise dragging all that stuff to yard sales than she ever got using it.

As to how we came to own another piece of exercise equipment my wife will never use, well, it's the usual story.

She got the treadmill from a friend of hers at work who didn't want it anymore.

This is how it always goes with exercise equipment, isn't it?

People buy these fancy treadmills and stair-steppers and elliptical machines, use them for a couple of weeks, and discover how boring they are.

Then they think: "OK, let me find some sucker who'll take this off my hands so I don't have to drag it out to a yard sale."

At this point, a little light bulb appears over their heads, just like you see in the cartoons.

Then they start dialing my wife's cell.

"How come your friends never give you a plasma high-def TV they don't want anymore, or a late-model BMW?" I asked her after dragging this new treadmill into the house. "Why is it always exercise equipment?"

"Look," she said, "I want to start walking again. And it's too cold to walk outside."

Naturally, it was 75 degrees the next day.

And 80 the day after that.

So she went walking outside both days.

Meanwhile, she used the treadmill to hang a couple of plants.

Did I mention the treadmill is parked right in front of the TV in the family room?

I should probably mention that.

Because one of the things you discover about having a treadmill parked in front of the TV is how annoying it becomes in terms of foot traffic.

Now you have to walk around it to get to the couch.

You have to walk around it to get to the coffee table where the remote is.

You have to walk around it to get to the fireplace.

No matter where you want to go, the treadmill's in your way.

So everyone in the house is getting more exercise walking around the stupid thing than you could ever get using it.

In fact, the treadmill is so annoying that when my wife gives up this latest exercise kick and tells me to get rid of it, we may not be able to wait for a yard sale.

Yep, the more I think about it, the more I see a different future for this treadmill, one that can also be summed up in two words: The dump.

Oh, I bet people get rid of so much old exercise equipment at the dump that they even have special sections for it.

Maybe they have an Ol' Treadmill Mountain or Busted NordicTrack Lane, and the cranky old guy with the orange vest who runs the place screams at you if, say, you drop off your old stationary bike at Ab Roller Gulch.

From the looks of things, I'll be seeing the old guy real soon, too.


To listen to podcasts featuring Kevin Cowherd, go to baltimoresun.com/cowherd.

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