Monday, September 13, 2010

Let's Get Physical! or The Sounds of a Dying Sparrow

In an attempt to combat the condition I have named "Writing Seems to be Making me Fat", tonight I stepped onto a treadmill. It was not a treadmill at a gym, since that would require me to find the time to drive back and forth to the gym and also, you know, not be home. Neither of those things seem plausible, though I optimistically maintain a gym membership in case one day my forty-hour a week job and the care and maintenance of my two year-old suddenly take less than eleven hours a day. I'm thinking it's unlikely, but I've always been known as a dream-stealer dreamer.

But back to the treadmill. This small, black "machine" showed up a few weeks ago, conveniently contrived to fold up when not in use so that it doesn't dominate our ridiculously small abode. And fold up it did, like a champ. What it failed to do was mill the tread. Oh, the motor came buzzing on, sounding very serious and like it was in one of those bizarre world's strongest man contests. And the lights came on, and the console beeped approvingly when I increased the speed. But it didn't move. The belt just sat there, reveling in the harsh, constant groan of the motor. It was a hand-me-down from my grandmother, who weighed about seventy-five pounds and never walked more than five minutes a day on it, so I'm pretty sure she didn't wear it out.

I sent it back home with my father, who was just as angry and perplexed as I was that it didn't work. He's something of a fitness maniac advocate, and has been as concerned as me with my WSMF condition. So he took the contraption out to the workspace of a friend, an engineer. And he and the engineer, and possibly a couple of diesel mechanics (judging by the giant, dusty footprints on the belt when it came back) took it apart, fiddled and swore, and finally fixed it.

So, after a few weeks of some kind of zombie flu, I finally had a little energy and a few minutes to myself and decided to jump on and feel the burn! Well, the motor is louder than before. As in, I had to close all the windows even though it was almost 80 degrees in the house, because people kept peering up at the house as though they expected it to take off before their very eyes. And the whole thing rattles and creaks like it's made of wood from some recently-recovered Spanish galleon, plus intermittent noises like I'm crushing small birds. Sparrows, maybe. The cats circled me the entire time I was running walking meandering, and then I was terrified that they would (ever so slowly) be sucked into the belt and I'd lose a hand trying to extricate them.

Anyway, I stopped after twenty minutes, mostly because of a terrible zombie coughing fit (I think a boot came out of my lungs), and because I was afraid I was suffering permanent hearing loss.

What's my point, you ask? I think I've made plenty of good ones. However, the main one is that I suggest that anyone who is going to make time for writing also make time for exercise. At least get up and stretch occasionally. You don't have to "invest" in broken-down pre-WWII exercise equipment, but your body will thank you if you work/stretch it out in between blogsurfing working on your story.


  1. Yikes O_O Treadmills always kind of make me nervous.

    Also, I should probably get up and stretch now...

  2. I've seen a couple of gnarly spills on treadmills. Being around a machine that continues to grind away, regardless of whether your face is in the way, is something to be concerned about.

  3. So that's what it's called. Apparently, I've caught this ailment too...and my treadmill works fine. My problem is, if I trod along at a pace that doesn't make my Kindle too shaky to read, I don't get much of a workout. Sure I sweat and it's better than nothing, but my secretary spread reminds me that it's like spitting on a raging inferno. The books are great though. :)