An Hour on the Treadmill

January 3, 2009 · 13 comments

One of the things I know I have to do to be successful with losing weight this year is to put more time on the treadmill. But it’s so darn boring! Workout music helps, but if you are going to run for at least an hour like I want to start doing, then you need to kick things up a notch. To help me put in longer times on the treadmill I added a little table that I could put my laptop on so that I could use the laptop while on the treadmill. I’ve got some ideas to make it even better and once I get some pictures of it I’ll put up a post. I think it’s pretty cool so subscribe for free to my blog if you want to be notified as soon as I post it!

I want to tell you about the hour I put on the treadmill today, but first I thought I’d share a story about Bob, a guy I lived and worked with when I was 19. Bob was a little weird and some of it rubbed off on me. He got me into Kahlil Gibran, for goodness sakes. At one point he was reading a lot about extreme yoga that involved ritual washing of the intestines, although I don’t think he ever actually went through with it. He did spend a lot of time in the bathroom but I don’t think he was soaking…

Anyway, we worked in a restaurant doing a variety of jobs and one day we were both busboys with him doing the floor and me washing dishes. By then we were both good at our jobs and the work was easy and boring. So we would find different strange things to do to keep us interested and challenged. On this particular day I was keeping up easily on dishes and had a lot of empty stainless steel counter-top to work with. For no reason that I can recall I thoroughly soaked a paper towel and then spread it out to dry. Bob asked me what I thought would happen when it dried out and I said I thought it would result in a stiff piece of paper towel.

“Have you ever done it before?” he asked. After I said that I had not he remarked, “If you haven’t done it before, how do you know for sure what the result will be? What if nobody in the world had done some strange thing, could you know for sure that it wouldn’t spontaneously combust, for example?”

How do you answer that? Well I didn’t have a good answer so we spent the better part of the day doing all sorts of strange things we figured nobody had ever done before, just to see if something unexpected happened, similar to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, which basically says that “nothing is real unless it is observed.” (Google is my friend!)

So what caused me to think about Bob today?

Because I did something I don’t think had every been done before on my treadmill, and a strange result did indeed ensue.

The good news is that I put in over an hour on the treadmill, walking at a leisurely 3.2 m.p.h pace, but sweating nonetheless. The bad news is that shortly after hitting the hour mark my treadmill, which had surely never been running for over an hour at a time, spontaneously combusted.

OK, maybe not. But it did power-down. And I can’t get it powered-up. Which is a bummer because I had big plans for putting more time in on this thing and I can’t afford a new treadmill right now.

That hour may have been my last for awhile.

P.S. - From what I can tell, there has never before been a blog post made referencing Kahlil Gibran, Quantum Physics, spontaneous combustion and exercising. I wonder what will happen when I click Publish?

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South Beach Steve January 3, 2009 at 4:00 pm

It sounds like you have had as many interesting hours in a restaurant as I have. It is amazing what you can get into when there is no real challenge with you job.

Maybe you will find your treadmill works again after it cools down. Just to be sure, have you checked the breaker?

BTW, what happened with the paper towel? Did it combust, turn dry and stiff, or something else?

12 years worth! I did manage to fix the treadmill although I don’t know what was wrong with it. I basically broke it down and built it back up and then it worked. Alas, the paper towel just turned dry and stiff. I wish I could remember all the other wacky things we did that day but only the towel bit remains in memory.

Ana January 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hi! I loved this post— I just started my “weight loss blog” today- it’s called two81…. I’d love to hear what you think?- I think we have a similar style


I like the new blog, good luck with it and your journey to losing weight. I wrote about you in Celebrating New Weight Loss Bloggers. Hope it gets you some readers!

Andrew is getting fit January 3, 2009 at 8:11 pm

That’s bad luck with the treadmill John. I’m hoping to get one sometime this year so that I can run at home.

Fortunately it appears to be fixed for now. I’m looking forward to running (well, er, walking) over an hour to see if it happens again.

Muata January 3, 2009 at 10:09 pm

John, maybe your treadmill breaking down on you is an “omen” that it’s time to try something different, such as a bodyweight circuit. Until you get your treadmill fixed, why not try doing this. Set a timer for ten minutes and do the following circuit:

5 bodyweight squats
5 pushups (kneeling ones are fine if you can’t do regular ones)
10 jumping jacks
rest 60-90 seconds and repeat until your timer goes off

This type of “metabolic” training not only burns calories, but it helps to build up your muscles’ endurance also. Give it a try until you get your treadmill serviced.

The treadmill is fixed but I’ll give this a try anyway!

LisaNewton January 4, 2009 at 5:43 am

I’m sorry about the treadmill. Like muata, I’ve started doing some indoor body weight exercises. They’re not as cardo as the treadmill, but your muscles will thank you in the morning…………………..:)

I will give them a try. I’m a little nervous about the squats because one of my knees still isn’t right from soccer this fall, but I’ll give it a go!

Greg Hayes January 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

That sucks about the treadmill, but the whole thing about it spontaneously combusting was pretty funny… I usually don’t run on a treadmill, but have been doing more of it here lately. My M.O. has been to run outdoors at work. It helps alleviate boredom (more stuff to look at), and I think I get a better workout. Unfortunately its winter now, and I think my blood’s getting thinner. :-)

Believe it or not, my wife has talked to me about the whole ritual yoga intestinal cleansing. She teaches yoga (she’s an instructor, not a yogi), but when she first started learning about it, she wondered if she should try it. Sounds very unpleasant to me. I don’t think she ever got up the nerve. Maybe I should ask.

Now you have to remember that this memory is from 20+ years ago, but the funny thing is what I actually remember is him showing me books with Yogi actually sitting in lakes with their own intestines somehow floating in the water while they were scrubbing them before putting them back in. Which of course is crazy. I searched Google for awhile to see if I could find anything about that and of course the only intestinal cleaning I could find involved digesting liquids. So I don’t know if my memory has just exaggerated things over the years or if he was showing me a prank book or what.

Miche January 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

Sorry about your treadmill - maybe it will “decide” to “power up” again today - but how about 59 mins? Like Muata, another workout could be the answer. How about a run/walk outdoors? I don’t know where you live - if it’s the cold north, that may just be out, but again, Muata’s “recipe” is good - could substitute bodyweight squats with split squats or lunges in-place.
Happy New Year!

Treadmill is working again which is a good thing because I live in Minnesota. It’s hella cold!

Merry January 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm

When I first looked into getting a motorized treadmill, I read a treadmill’s instruction manual. A GFCI outlet can be tripped by the fluctuating power levels of a treadmill, and surge protectors don’t help with that kind of outlet.

The good news is that manual treadmills are a lot cheaper. That bad news is that they’re cheap in more than a monetary sense of the word. At least, mine is.

Hope your treadmill is feeling better soon!

P.S. Yes, what about the paper towel?

Good point Merry - although in my case I am not on a GFCI. Because I had my laptop plugged into the out outlet and it was still getting power I knew it was not a circuit or breaker problem. Not sure what it was but it’s working again which I am happy about. Alas, the paper towel just turned dry and stiff. :-)

Greg Hayes January 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

The process my wife read about involved swallowing gauze and then pulling it back out… Ack! Sounded very dangerous, and not the least bit “cleansing.”

Oh yeah, I think I saw that one too. Ack indeed!

Eric Tan January 6, 2009 at 1:14 am

I agree with you that the treadmill is boring… even with music… I would rather run laps around a basketball court.

GeorgieGirl January 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Intestinal cleansing as described in a couple of the comments… ewe

I’m glad your treadmill is up and running again. I’m interested to see how you set up your laptop.

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