The treadmill and I have a love/hate relationship. No wait, I said that wrong. The treadmill and I have a hate/hate relationship. There is no love at all. There is barely any like, and the squidgeon of like that sometimes pops up is only there for the first minute and the last minute of any workout.
When people say, “I love working out”, I have a carnal urge to correct them. It’s like saying, “Me and Joe seen a gooder movie than you’s guys.” All the words are wrong!
I do not like working out. I don’t like having difficulty breathing. I don’t like muscles that hurt for days. I don’t like having to change into workout clothes and then change again into normal clothes. I don’t like having to drink so much water. I don’t like sweat that stings my eyes (Why is my sweat saltier than my tears? Is that normal? I think it’s dumb.). And I don’t like all of the minutes when the treadmill is making me go faster or go uphill.
One of my children (for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call her Schmabi) is athletic and often says the words that don’t make sense. Also, when she sees me on the treadmill, she does not say the things that an encouraging person would say (like, “You’re doing great. Keep going. You can do it.”) She says, “Stop leaning on the handles.”
When I have enough breath (and/or enough exercise-induced anger), I answer, “You’re not the boss of me.” But most of the time I keep it simple with “Shut.” Breath. “Up.” Breath.
If I had more breath, I would be able to say, “This is not leaning. This is hanging on lest I die.”
Friends, the result of letting go of those handles is two-fold. First, I will lose my balance. Truly, that moving floor messes me up. The faster it moves, the more I look like Bambi and Phoebe competing in a three-legged roller derby. I am remarkably stable on solid ground and even on a balance beam, but once that tread starts milling, I lose all capability of putting one foot in front of the other in a reliable pattern. The handles do not move, therefore I must remain connected to them in order to remain verticle.
Second, I might just fly off the back of the Contraption of Imminent Death through the window that is forever behind me (deepest apologies for that unfortunate view, oh random passers-by). As that tread keeps milling faster and my legs keep trying to slow down, it is only my vice-grip on the handles that keeps me on this side of the Pearly Gates. My vice-grip does, in fact, add upper-body resistance training as well , so let’s call it multi-tasking and check all the exercise things off the to-do list.
So why am I working so hard at maintaining the insanity? After all, I’m not so overweight that my triumphant and inspirational journey to health will be the stuff of viral videos. The answer is simple: I need to change the trajectory. That is all.
And why am I blogging about it and making fun of myself on the global interwebbings? Because, unlike Schmabi, I want to be an encouragement to other people. If my ineptitude makes you feel more capable, great! If my whiny anger makes you feel less alone, perfect! If my eventual weight loss and forthcoming enviable physique inspire you to be healthier, win-win!
In the meantime, I do not expect to start liking the process…which means there will probably be more blog and Twitter rants coming. Consider yourself forewarned.