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Experiencing the Treadmill

One cold afternoon as the wind drifted the snow outside, three dozen of us lined up on our treadmills beneath four large flat screen TVs. It was like a scene out of Clockwork Orange. As the miles wore on, Ellen, Olivia from Law and Order, Pat Summerall, and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer lip-synched to “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath in my headphones. I was enjoying my back row view as I thought about finally graduating from the C25K program. I was a little bit proud of myself as I ran along at 6.2 miles per hour.

I dreamed of one day pushing it to the maximum of twelve!

The tread hummed along circulating on unseen rollers beneath my feet. As the music played, I tried my best to discreetly pass a little gas and headed to the two-mile mark. With so many people in that small space, who would know from whence it might have come? A woman came and took the treadmill next to mine. She fiddled with her water bottle and car keys. From the corner of my eye, I saw her pushing every button but the green one to start the machine. Gym rules are strange, they don’t allow talking, especially to members with headphones on, of which I was one. Then she started to bang on the control panel loudly enough where I could tell she was becoming frustrated. Because of the no talking rule, I pretended not to notice. Furiously pushing buttons and banging on the machine, but not one of the sheeple came to her aid. Finally, I realized that it was my mission in life to hit the quick start button for her. Popping out my right headphone, I asked, “Do you need some help?”

“Do I look like I know what I am doing?” she snapped.

Oh my God, this is a trick question for which there is no right answer. Instead of talking, I reached over and pushed the green button. At that very moment I stepped on the side rail of my treadmill, my headphone cord wrapped itself around the handrail. Off the end of the spinning deck, I went at 6.2 miles per hour, my body slamming the wall behind me. My glasses flew onto the belt, firing them back at mach ten (a mere 7672.69 miles per hour), impaling my left shoulder. The woman turned to see what happened as I was writing on the floor in pain. As she turned, she too lost her footing. Like the game “Mousetrap”, her stupid water bottle came crashing down, dislodging the cover and creating a momentary lawn sprinkler as the tread continued to spin.

The runner on the other side of me calmly switched off both treadmills, grabbing her soggy People magazine, she left in a huff.

I too decided that it was best to leave. As the silent TVs flashed above the scene like the many marquises of Times Square at night, I put my headphone back in to make sure no one talked to me and slipped out the back exit.

A few paragraphs from my new book.

23 votes + -

6 comments:

Mustangsally1000 wrote 4 months ago:
I'm sorry...probably wan't funny at the time...but, hilarious! Great addition to your book.

melissarose4 wrote 3 months ago:
This is great! I could just see this scene happening right in front of me as I read it. :-)

Aplant77 wrote 2 months ago:
I don't know why I just now saw this blog post but I'm glad I did. Sorry for laughing hysterically at your bad circumstance! Thanks for lightening my Monday :)
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