Thursday, March 27, 2014

Letters from the Treadmill:
Girl of Many Treadmills

This morning, yet another installment of Letters from the Treadmill, a mini series where I write letters to the more curious gym go-ers in an attempt to reach out and understand why they do what they do.

Dear Girl of Many Treadmills,

You are what most people would call a "regular" at the gym.  So regular, in fact, that I have only seen you wear one pair of pants all winter.  That, or else you have many pairs of the exact same workout pants.  But who would want so much of the exact same thing?

Actually, Girl of Many Treadmills, that might very well be you.

Now, I just want to start by saying that I understand the whole "cardio machine hopping" strategy, where one hops from elliptical to bike to treadmill every 20 minutes.  It makes the hour go by a lot faster.  The oldest trick in the book, really.

But you, Girl of Many Treadmills, seem to have learned a different trick.  Or perhaps you are reading a different book.  Either way, I am not sure what is to be accomplished by switching treadmills every 10 minutes.

You'll start your run on the treadmill to my left.  And we'll be having a perfectly pleasant time ignoring each other as we zip along our adjacent belts.  But then I will look up for a moment at the L.A. Fitness slideshow they show on every other TV, just long enough to be reminded to screen for prostate cancer and eat my broccoli, and you'll be gone.

Well, not gone... just three treadmills to my right.

It's the same treadmill, three treadmills to my right.  They're all the same, Girl of Many Treadmills.  I know because I've been on most of them.  The only difference between you and me is that I didn't do it all in one morning.

As you repeat this cycle five or more times throughout the morning, ending up three rows up, two rows back, standing confusedly on the broken one, I am truly baffled by you.  So baffled that I had a hard time coming up with a single theory on what you're doing.

My one and only theory on your behavior came to me one morning when I realized that what you were doing seemed oddly familiar.  Your unpredictable zigzag formation through the cardio room brought me back to when I was 12, when the Beltway Sniper Attacks were in full swing.  It was an absolutely terrifying time, marked by adults zigzagging through Home Depot and gas station parking lots.  It was a time when it took people twice as long to purchase 2x4's and that ended up scarring me for life.

If this is what is happening, Girl of Many Treadmills, if you are zigzagging through the gym in fear of a sniper, I have many, many questions for you.  But above all, let's start with the most important: Should I be looking for a different gym?

Hope to hear from you soon.


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  1. Reading this makes me so happy I own a treadmill. It's so confusing.

  2. I'm so confused by this girl! I've never seen anyone hop from treadmill to treadmill at the gym but now I'm curious!!

  3. How very strange! Maybe she has treadmill ADD? :P