I’ve been tempting fate because I look so darn healthy on the outside it’s difficult to fathom the turmoil on the inside. Elevated blood sugar is a sneaky disease, you feel perfectly fine, look totally normal. If only a big, festering sore would magically materialize and explode every time I cheated I might be inclined to keep my hands in my pockets instead of stuffing the gaping hole of my mouth with the forbidden. Maybe people wouldn’t be so quick to push sweets at me, saying “one won’t hurt” if they had to stare into a volcanic eruption of puss hanging off my face. My friends said, “Don’t use the puss word Christine, its gross”, but calling it a simple pimple doesn’t push the point. Also, please don’t think I’m blaming others for corrupting me, I’m perfectly capable of self-destructing on my own, I’m only saying it would be nice to have help with this struggle over temptation.
Anyway, back to the treadmill. I’ve always wanted one and a friend mentioned she’d like to liberate her bedroom of hers. The price was certainly right, free, but I hesitated knowing that it’s probably another piece of exercise equipment that starts out with good intentions and then becomes a dust catching space hog, then end up out in the garage keeping company with the Elliptical trainer, an Inverter, the Trampoline, bench and weights.
As for the size of the machine, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I remembered seeing it in my friend’s bedroom, looking like a small boat on the horizon but what I hadn’t taken into consideration was her ballroom sized boudoir because once the beast was transferred to my closet sized house, it became a cruise ship.
When it came through the door it was as massive as our kitchen island and wouldn’t fit up the stairs without being dismantled. The three middle aged guys, hubby and friends, had to take the back door off to get it over the threshold, voted to leave it in the kitchen until I arrived home to make the ruling. I’ll bet that was a hasty retreat. They are all familiar with women and their propensity for changing their minds. Try it here, move it there, how about over in that corner, why can’t it go upstairs or worse, take it back to where it came from!
So it sat in front of the basement door for about a week slowly becoming a hanging rack and after tripping over it several times, squeezing between it and the island, I mentally prepared myself to make the move to a better location because it was now trapped in the house until spring.
From a gym’s perspective she’s a beaut. Large, sturdy, all the major functions, quiet to run and in mint condition, but, and I mean no offense to the manufacturer, big and ugly fits in with my décor about as well as the before mentioned skin lesion would look on my face. That’s why I wanted it upstairs, a sore eye sight for my gaze only. I hate anything plastic like electronic equipment. TV’s bum me out as they are so big and black, where does that fit in with antiques and a traditional interior? Our TV is only 28 inches and that is still too big for my liking. We have a tiny living room space so it sits in my antique corner cupboard as mismatched as oil and water and can be seen from the back door as you enter the house. Open concept shows everything, bearing all like a naked body and no walls to hide the warts.
So we shifted the living room, making it even smaller as the treadmill displaced a chair that needed to cram in somewhere else. I resigned to the fact that getting fit was going to hurt physically and aesthetically.
At first, the desire for a treadmill wasn’t for my fitness. I wanted it for the pups, but as time wore on, I kept looking at the beast, getting familiar with its presence. It sat in the corner, sort of sad and pathetic, feeling useless and unable to realize its potential, fulfill the reason for its existence. This big black hunk of metal and plastic wanted to make friends but I resisted its charm until guilt began to set in. I’ve mentioned before I feel empathy for inanimate objects, I project feelings on them, get attached, try to put myself in their place.
The big worry was my iffy knee. Would it sabotage any attempts at rigorous walking? That voice again, that saboteur, filling my head with excuses as if my body would suffer from breaking a sweat. Why do we undermine ourselves so much? Anyway, I finally jumped on and did a couple of miles the first night and went a bit farther each evening after that, walking until my knee started to ping and then stopped. The pups gathered round me as I walked nowhere, looking up at me as if I was loosing my mind.
I watched a video on YouTube and saw that training a pup to use a treadmill isn’t difficult at all. My dogs are smart and they trust me so that’s half the battle. My vision would be to have two of the smaller pups on it at once. They all come over when I’m on it and that first time Henri looked as if he was warming up, doing his stretches with paws on the edge of side rails. I wanted them to see me on it a couple of times to show there was nothing to fear. He looked as if he might jump up while I was hoofing away. Henri’s the most skittish of the four so I started with him, working my way down to the more amenable, fearless one, which it turned out, was the slowest to catch on.
Henri is a miniature poodle so it was easy to keep him on course with my knee close to his side for guidance. Henri didn’t need a lead to start but I used one for the other three. I held his sides for a few seconds and there was a brief scratching as he was concerned about the movement but he settled in nicely and was a pro within fifteen seconds. The trick is not to give up. If they resist and you let them off, you’re screwed for the next time you try. They have to remain on until they get it and calm down through the walk and only get off with your permission. You aren’t hurting them so don’t feel badly for a second or they will sense that and feed off your emotions. Keep calm and set the pace, literally.
You want to keep the first few times short, maybe a minute or two and then stop. I had Henri up to a dog jog for about 15 seconds, his little tongue came out so he was getting a bit of a workout. Baby steps will ensure they won’t become overwhelmed. I wish I had a picture to backup this story, but they are new to this and I need to stay by their side until they are more relaxed. At some point I should be able to sit beside them and read while they take a walk and never leave the house.
Dogs love to walk, its pack instinct and it balances them. If you have dogs that don’t get along, take them for a walk and they’ll work it out. The theory is that they will find it enjoyable and bark to go on it. That’s the plan anyway. So far they all seem to like it. Such smart little hairy kids I have.