After So Much Time

Friday, November 01, 2019

Upon the advice of a co-worker at my part-time job, I dusted off my aged treadmill and tested its turn-on switch. The machine heaved a sigh before a push on the “start” button cranked its floor into action. I set it for 2mph and walked while studying the control board and trying to remember its basic functions and potential. That’s an indicator of how long it’s been since last I unfurled this old machine. Happily, it still works.

Funny enough, although the treadmill has been parked in my bedroom throughout my years in this house, I had forgotten about it. Its floor folds up and creates needed space for a dog’s bed and its upright section offers various opportunities. Lately, its been a support for hanging winter jackets. And other odds and ends like handbags and scarves tossed casually over its handlebars.

I’d been explaining to my friend some concerns about stumbling and falling, which are possibilities on my rocky acreage, and liked the suggestion that walking on a treadmill could strengthen my legs and balance. That ah-ha moment–remembering the catch-all in my bedroom.

That treadmill has a history. I bought it as a used-refurbished unit from Sears back when that great merchandiser was a major store in Santa Monica’s downtown. My purpose wasn’t to exercise myself but to condition my dogs. My work requiring lots of traveling meant boarding my dogs at a kennel (it specialized in Irish Setters). Some of the Setters walked on comfortably on its treadmill. That seemed a great idea.

Only one of my dogs went for it. Cassie the Cattle Dog (in every way a terrific pup) would hop on and walk as long as asked. Others would get on and soon as the floor began rolling hop off and refuse to cooperate. Okay, so occasionally I’d walk, too, but let’s face it, treadmill minutes can be long and boring. Since then, I’ve hauled the machine around, maybe deep inside thinking someday it might be useful.

Now, I’m walking again and with lots of purpose. I intend to become stronger, and thus more efficient while navigating over property, playing with horses, and hiking with dogs (always their best exercising). These days, technology helps to combat boredom on the treadmill. An iPad streams movies, headphones allow read-aloud books, and an always nearby TV offers the latest political twists.

As yes, it’ll be a “new me”.

Dear Friends: This story never-ever entered my mind, life is full of twists. Diana

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