I Have A Treadmill… Now I Just Have To Use It!

Deborah Welky


After a fat and lazy winter, I decided to get myself a treadmill before things really got out of hand.

When a friend of mine heard this, he gave me his old one, and it was hardly used! Plus, it was a name I had heard of (NordicTrack) and not something like RunTilYouDrop.

Now, I have never had a gym membership, but I had been on treadmills before in the exercise rooms of various hotels, and I liked them. Unlike walking around the block, there are no barking dogs straining at their leashes to get me, people smiling in amusement from their front porches or cars zooming by belching exhaust as they go.

Instead, there is a motorized walkway with a TV in front of it. If you can’t distract yourself for a half hour while you’re walking, there truly is nothing good on TV. I love how there’s a little tray to put my phone on. I love having my water bottle right there. I love how I get to choose my speed and time and see how many calories I’ve burned. I especially love it when I’m the only one in the room. Ahhh. And now I had a treadmill of my very own.

So I set this puppy up in the back room of my store and decided to come in a half hour early every day to run on it. Admittedly, it is a used, bare-bones model. For instance, there is no TV. There is also no tray or water holder. There isn’t even an electrical cord. By inserting two AA batteries, I was able to set a timer and, by turning a knob, I was able to adjust the resistance. There was another knob on the bottom in case I wanted to adjust the angle to recreate the experience of climbing a steep hill.

I did not. I also did not want to walk at high speed.

But I did know how long I wanted to walk. I set the timer for 30 minutes exactly — not one second more.

The first day, I huffed and puffed my way through my walk accompanied by squeaks, stops and starts. I had set the resistance level all the way down to setting one, but the age of the machine (and maybe some rust) made it really hard to walk.

I told myself it was just because I was out of shape and kept on going. I reached for my water bottle, placed precariously atop a stack of boxes, and it fell and rolled. By minute 23, I was hunched over the handlebars, watching my feet and praying for death. My cell phone was out of reach. How was I going to call 911?

The second day was more of the same, although I did keep my phone in my pocket. Mostly, I was bored.

The third day, I developed the system that I successfully use to this day. I play Candy Crush on my phone with my left hand while clinging to the treadmill with my right. Because I am not left-handed, I quickly fail at Candy Crush. Every time I fail, I have to put the phone down and walk double-time the same number of minutes I had been playing. This is resulting in three desired results: I walk 30 minutes without boring myself to tears; I am slowly learning to win at Candy Crush; and, as a bonus, I am becoming ambidextrous.

If I had a trainer, they would probably not like this method at all, but it works for me and I should know — I have been diligently working out for two whole weeks!