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How I ended up on a treadmill

I confess that I have a treadmill in my apartment. For the longest time I was hesitant to admit this because it makes me look lazy or something – but if you know me, you will definitely agree with me when I say there is no way I am idle.

Just so we are clear, It wasn’t easy for me to get it up there either. My girl helped one of her friends move out so they said she could take her treadmill home. So while my girl (girlfriend) was organising all of that stuff in their place, she called me and told me to go pick up the treadmill before they change their mind. The thing looked like it came right out of an army surplus store; probably because it actually did come from one. It had about 20 years of dirt on it and the only thing that was working was the belt. We took it home, cleaned it up, bought some lubricant for the moving parts and voila! I’m running again.

We put it in our bedroom because I don’t have too much room anywhere else – but you know what really bothered me? See those black things on either side of the treadmill? Those are supposed to be there to keep people from slipping off while they are jogging or whatever. And not only are they ugly, they are also dangerous! That is why you never see treadmills without them – but we didn’t go looking for a treadmill so we could use those stupid things; we wanted to exercise . And since they were just taking up space, we decided to leave them off.

And that’s the thing – I’ve noticed that people don’t use treadmill often unless they are running for their lives or trying to escape zombies. So why would you want something ugly and dangerous in your house? But since no one really uses them anyway, there is no point in buying a brand new one because it will probably break too easily. The best thing you can do is find an old beat up treadmill somewhere and fix it up yourself.

For example, my treadmill didn’t have any plastic cover on the buttons so they kept falling off every time I tried using it. You can go online and buy a new piece of plastic from a store somewhere but make sure you include treadmills for sale in Canada.  That will probably cost you about 10 bucks but if you take that same piece of plastic and drill a hole in it, then put some bolts through it – voila! A new button cover for your treadmill. And because I made it instead of somebody else, I know for sure that its much sturdier and better than the one I took off.

One thing to keep in mind when looking for a used treadmill is: find one with a strong motor . If the belt is slipping, don’t bother picking up something older than 3 years. But since we are talking treadmills here, there comes another problem: You really can’t tell how old they are by just looking at them (especially ones that were never used) so here’s what you do: get a pack of batteries (finger size if possible) and put them in. If the treadmill starts up, the belt is fine; it will keep running for like 30 seconds without any signs of slowing down or stopping – which means that everything inside is working perfectly. However, if the belt stops after less than 10 seconds then you need to stay away from it because there might be something wrong with the motor .

After bringing your new found treasure home you start thinking about where to put it when suddenly an inspiration comes over you: “What about your living room? You can always make space by getting rid of some stuff.”  Oh, but you know better – after going through that experience once already you will never get rid of your treadmill.

“Wow!” You think to yourself .  “This is just too good .” And if that’s not all then wait till you find out what else this old piece of junk can do for you.

If the belt on your treadmill isn’t in perfect condition then its time to tighten it up because this is key for having a smooth workout session. If the tension is too light or too tight, the walking belt tends to slip when walking so be careful! You can adjust the tension by moving one of those knobs at the bottom towards the front (towards where you are standing) or back (away from where  you are standing) – whichever direction feels more right.

This brings us to the subject of how to use a treadmill properly because its not as easy as you think.  And here is my little trick: start with a gentle jog for about 15 seconds and then slow down until your walking speed (no slower). Once you get comfortable with doing it this way, try increasing the time you spend jogging by 5 or 10 seconds each time. I’m telling you now that even just those few minutes can give you great results!

You can also do some light stretching before your workout but why bother? That’s what everyone else does – just grab a mat and start jogging on your treadmill-floor! In fact , if you have ever used  a real treadmill in a gym then you probably know this already.

Well, I guess that’s it . But before you go out there to find your own used treadmill, keep one thing in mind: don’t expect to see any results the day after. It takes some time so be patient and when you are done using it for the day just put everything back in place because nobody likes their stuff being moved around by accident .

That way all of your hard work will pay off in the end! So next time somebody asks you about how did you lose all that weight, tell them “I got rid of junk – literally”

And if they don’t get it , show them an old beat up treadmill sitting on top of your storage  box. Maybe it won’t turn their heads but at least you can cross one thing off of your bucket list…

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