Thursday, July 17, 2008

Billy and the treadmill Part Deux

I have come to realize that there is a small percentage of the population who insist on using treadmills improperly. After telling my mother about Billy and his treadmill adventures (see Billy and the treadmill post below) she scolded me for not helping the young man learn how to use the treadmill properly. She told me that most people don't go to the gym because they don't know what they are doing and don't want people staring at them while they try to figure it out. I tried to assure her that I didn't stare at Billy. I just really really wanted him to figure it out for himself. It's like teaching a child how to walk. You can help them but ultimately they have to do it on their own.

So yesterday during my visit to the gym there was a gentleman who decided that he wanted to get some cardio in on the treadmill. He had a choice of three working treadmills and one not-so-working treadmill. Of course he chose the one that was not working. In his defense there was no sign on the machine saying it was broken. So how did I know that it wasn't working? I think the most obvious part of it's non-functionality was that the treadmill was basically sticking straight up in the air. Whoever used it last had set the incline very high. Apparently the treadmill stopped working while it was still set on an incline. When the guy stepped on the treadmill the belt started to turn because the emergency magnet was missing (another sign that the treadmill is broken). So the guy stood on the sides of the treadmill and worked his way to the top only to find he couldn't actually get the treadmill to run. So what does any sane person do at this point? Step on the belt and ride your way off the treadmill! Luckily this guy chose a different treadmill and was able to figure out how to use that one.

I'm sure there will come a point in time when I am standing on a treadmill trying to figure out how to make it work. It seems inevitable.

Here is handy checklist to use when determining if a treadmill is broken:

If you answer yes to any of these questions, the treadmill is broken so move on to the next one:

1) Is the emergency magnet/card missing?
2) Is the treadmill still on an incline even though no one is using it?
3) Is there a sign on the treadmill that says it's broken?
4) Are chunks of the belt missing?
5) Is the treadmill on fire?

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