Naturally right after I went on this latest exercise kick my treadmill went on the fritz. I'm sure the motor is probably caked with dust from all the months I HAVEN'T used it, but now of course I am all determined to have it fixed. I mean, if you have something like that you want it to work, even if you never use it. You want it to be functional JUST IN CASE. Things are just supposed to work. Like the pepper grinder I bought hubby for his birthday. But never mind about THAT.
During Christmas break I used the treadmill twice for an hour each. Trying to make up for the past few years that I haven't used it, I guess. (Side note: I haven't been slovenly or completely sedentary during those years. Hubby just wouldn't let me put the treadmill back on the new hardwood floors. So I have been forced to walk in the park. Even when it's cold.)
The second time I used it, the motor cut off and the display went blank after an hour. I figured it was just exhausted, and never mind that I wasn't finished watching Chicago. The next time I tried to use it, it cut off after about 30 minutes. The next time it was 15. I found a little reset button (fuse?) on the front of the treadmill, and I discovered that I could reset it and make it run for a little while longer. Then it cut off after a shorter and shorter period of time, and after a while it started reaching out to smack me on the hand, as if to say, "Look stupid, I'm shutting off because there's something WRONG! Don't you get it?" So I decided having a repairman come to the house was cheaper and better than having a fireman come to the house.
But that left me with no way to exercise on the days when it was raining or the two days when we couldn't go to the state park across from our house because they were having a DEER HUNT for God's sake. So I was forced to start going back to the YMCA, where I have been cheerfully sending my monthly payment for the past few months that we haven't gone. Well, I haven't actually been SENDING it. They just suck it out of my bank account on the first of every month. But I digress. As usual.
The Y has these state-of-the-art treadmills that do all these calculations and simulate hills and have a fan that would actually help cool you off while you're walking, if you were taller than say 5'2". In which case the fan helps keep the air directly above your head nice and cool. How sweet of them.
These treadmills also have televisions on them, and I was smart enough to take my headphones so I could watch while I walked. Only I wasn't smart enough to get on a treadmill where the television actually worked. I watched the snowy screen for a while, and since there was no "off" switch, I was forced to plug in my MP3 player. That still helped the time pass more quickly, except I was sure that the other walkers (and runners, those people I love to hate) were cutting their eyes in my direction and feeling sorry for me because my television didn't work. Then I dropped my MP3 player onto the treadmill belt, and it was promptly launched into the shins of the person behind me. Not really, but a girl did stop to pick it up from the floor behind me. Luckily I remembered to step off the moving belt while she handed it to me.
The next time I went to the Y to use their treadmills, I made sure I checked for a working television screen before commencing my walk. Don't call ME a slow learner. I'm figuring this thing out. So I started walking, headphones in place, scrolling through the channels. Only the SOUND didn't work. Once again, I plugged in my MP3 player, but I pretended that I was watching the television. I even chuckled once in a while to convince the people around me that I was indeed lucky enough to have a working television. I just hope they didn't notice that my headphones were not indeed plugged into the treadmill.
I promise there's a point to all this blather. And here it comes: What is the etiquette regarding complaining to the attendant on duty that the television on my treadmill didn't work? Or the sound didn't work? I'm trying to picture myself in that position. Like Jesse, the girl who works in the fitness room. She works another full-time job, and then she comes to the Y to help out and be a fitness coach and answer questions from people like me who are too dumb to figure out some of the equipment. If I were Jesse and someone came to me because the television wouldn't work on his or her treadmill, I think I would put my hands on my hips and say in my most sarcastic tone, "Oh, you came here to WATCH TELEVISION. I'll get right on that for you."
Jesse's much nicer than I am. Still, I'm not taking any chances. I'll just keep pretending, and maybe once in a while I'll luck up and get a treadmill with a working television AND sound.