The Treadmill from Hell

The Treadmill from Hell

The Treadmill from Hell

I rarely have altercations with mechanical things.  I tend to be a fairly logical person and, if there is a problem with something mechanical, I look for someone who can fix it.  That’s because, most of the time, I do not believe that mechanical things have it in for me.  All that changed last week.  When my friend, Beth Roadarmel, left Thailand, I inherited her treadmill.  She used to run on it for several minutes each day after work.  While I cannot run (thanks to the condition of my knees), I do walk and wanted a way to walk even during the rainy season.  While it was a huge hassle to get this large piece of equipment from Beth’s home to my home, I thought it would be worth it.  Of course, for the first six months it lived in my house, it just sat there, taking up space.  But just before Christmas, I plugged it in, programmed it, and set off walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes each morning.  That lasted for three days.  What happened next is inexplicable!

On the fourth day, I turned it on, programmed it, and stepped on the belt to begin my walk. When the machine hit two minutes, it suddenly began to pick up speed.  When I had to begin jogging to keep up, I stepped off the belt onto the frame of the treadmill and watched in amazement as the belt continued to pick up speed until it hit 16 mph!!  I used the emergency stop to shut it down.  Then, I turned it off, unplugged it, plugged it in again, reprogrammed it and turned it on again.  This time, it went from 0 to 16 mph in record time!  I repeated the same sequence several times and, each time, the machine went from 0 to 16 mph as soon as I hit “Start.” I reported this to Julian and, the next day, my son took on the machine.  It treated him in exactly the same way.  He worked with it for a while and finally discovered that there was only one program that would not cause the belt to accelerate to its maximum speed – the “you-must-program-everything-you-want-it-to-do-manually-as-you-go” program.

Julian had to return to the USA the following day, but I rose early on Monday, determined to give this “Treadmill from Hell” another chance. I plugged my earphones into my iPad Mini to listen to the NBC Nightly News and hit the “Start” button on the treadmill. Sure enough, I strolled along at .8 mph until I manually increased the speed to 4 mph.  Even when I took it up to 6 mph, it came right back down to 4 mph as soon as I wanted to change it. That worked for three days.  What happened next convinced me that this machine was out to get me!

On the fourth day, I plugged in my earphones and began listening to NBC Nightly News on my iPad Mini.  When I hit the “Start” button, the belt began to move a .8 mph, as usual, but without any warning, the incline on the machine went from 0 to 15. Nothing I could do would make it return to 0, until I shut off the power.  I went through the same ritual: turning it off, unplugging it, plugging it in again, turning it on and hitting “Start.”  Each time, the pace was slow, but the incline moved from 0 to 15 and stayed there.  I managed one workout at 4 mph and an incline of 15, but my left knee was in agony the next day. Perhaps there is a solution to this problem as well, but for now, I am walking on the concrete road that circles through my neighborhood, wondering what to do about this possessed treadmill.  Does anyone know a treadmill exorcist??

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About ladypreacheratwork

For more information about me and my ministry in Thailand, please select the 'About' tab in the header above.
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4 Responses to The Treadmill from Hell

  1. Helen Hopson says:

    I think that might be one that only be exorcised by prayer and fasting. Or by returning to the manufacturer. So glad it didn’t “get” you!

  2. Sharon, this is exactly the reason I don’t have a treadmill. With my knees, your little machine would kill me! I stick to just walking on concrete or in my yard….or my sister’s yard with her dog, Boomer. Boomer is now 7 years old so he doesn’t even go 16 mph….although there are times that he is ahead of me. So, what does that say? Ha! Ha! Nice to read all your blogs. God Bless You. Love, Martha

  3. Denise LeBeau VanZeeland says:

    I am wondering if you are the same Sharon Bryant I knew
    years ago when my family lived in Thailand. I lived in ChianMai for 7th and 8th grade. Then I went to the International school in Bangkok. I remember Sharon Beyant who had beautiful blue eyes and she
    had a brother named Kenny. Is that you? I live in Green Bay Wisconsin. I work in a parochial school teaching students who need extra help learning. I loved reading Thailand Tales. Such fond memories.

    • Denise, The answer is “yes” I am the same person. I remember you as a slender, brilliant student with deep brown hair and glasses. How ironic that you ended up in Green Bay! I lived in Chicago for fifteen years before moving to Texas, because I got tired of shoveling snow. Now that I am back in Thailand, snow is not a problem. My brother, Ken, is pastor of a church in Illinois and getting close to retirement. He has a wife, two kids, and three grandchildren. It is great to hear from you! Please stay in touch. Sharon

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