After each jerky, smoke-filled session, Tom and I would discuss having the machine repaired or even replacing it because of its high mileage. But then spring came, and the weather warmed up, and we would much rather walk outside anyway. All spring, summer, and fall, the treadmill sat idle in the basement. I think we were hoping it would repair itself, like salamanders that regenerate their tiny limbs when they’ve lost them battling in their little salamander wars.
It’s November now. When the weather took a turn for the worse last week, we reluctantly headed down to the basement to start the winter treadmill routine. But surprise, surprise, time had not healed all wounds. The treadmill would work fine for 20 minutes, then stop, then start in fits and jerks, and finally emit the burning plastic smell, just like it had done last winter.
So it was back to the outside walking. Today when I got home from work, the temperature was 19 degrees—which wouldn’t have been so bad except for the 29 mph NNW wind with gusts over 30 mph and a wind chill temperature of 4 below. I put on my long underwear, my thickest sweatpants, my leather walking shoes, a thick pair of socks, my turtleneck shirt, my fleece vest, my wind jacket, my stocking hat, a chin band, a scarf, my hood—and started out for my walk, whining as I went. It was dark, it was cold—but after I got going, honestly, it really wasn’t that bad.
So we’re building a little character these days until the new treadmill is delivered early next week. It’s two to four a day, no excuses.
P.S. We donated the old treadmill to our neighbors down the street who own a pitbull. People have called the police three times to complain about the snarly dog when it's outside, so the police told our neighbors to get a treadmill and exercise it inside. This is a true story: our treadmill is now part of an exercise program for a vicious dog. I love happy endings.