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Throwing in the towel on the home gym

January 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Blog

A Consumer Reports survey conducted last year indicated that 32 percent of respondents used their home-exercise equipment less than anticipated. I’m a little suspicious of the other 68 percent.

Fess up, people. You aren’t all hitting that treadmill every day. Admit it. I bet half of you have at least one item of clothing hanging off it that’s been there so long you actually know to look for it there on those rare days you wear it. “Where’s my red sweatshirt? Oh yeah, down in the basement on the treadmill.”

We were in that camp. Okay, it was a towel, not a sweatshirt, but its permanent home was the treadmill. I kept it there in case I ever needed to mop up a spill from the dehumidifier. That towel traveled around the basement for five years, like a bird on an elephant that was forever being ushered out of the way of whatever project we had going. The beast was tilted back and rolled from room to room as we finished the basement off, moved again when the floor was painted, and relocated once more when we had the carpet installed last month.

Lately it had gone from simple nuisance to safety risk. With a two-year-old running around down there, I rigged up an anchor system, securing the treadmill in place against the wall with bungee cords. (One more barrier to anyone actually using it.) Still, it was taking up valuable real estate on his dance floor, and after a near-miss between his head and the metal base, something had to give. “Get rid of this, Daddy,” became his new catch phrase.

Easier said than done. It took four of us to muscle it down the stairs when it came in, a hand-me-down from my marathon-running father. We had to remove a door and the railing down the stairs. Even then it nearly got stuck. I had visions of Dirk Gently’s couch, forever locked in place on his landing. And this was before the basement was finished off, so there weren’t any walls to contend with.

I swore that night it would come out in bits. It finally did. I got busy with a hex wrench last night and hauled the pieces up the stairs and out to the curb. It was easily the best workout I’ve gotten from that treadmill in years, ever since our brief fling when I trained for a 5K run back in 2007.

Like the weight bench that preceded it to the street last month, it is gone. We’ll brook no more crazy, home-gym nonsense. Ain’t happening. Ain’t getting used. Ain’t coming in our house again. I’ll find someplace else to hang the towel.

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