Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Me vs. Evil

He is evil and he wants to destroy me.

People were so pleased that he came into my life because I was finally making some kind of positive step in the right direction that basically included anything other than sitting around reading books or writing blog posts about my silly thoughts or boring life. Anything would have been an improvement, but he was supposed to be a huge improvement.

I did not have room in my life for him, at first. It took a lot of rearranging to find the time and space to allow for his presence. Then came the family drama that kept me from him. Now there is nothing standing between us but my free will, and I’m finding that he is making it very difficult not to just run away crying.

He doesn’t like me. He wants to punish me and he enjoys the concept of causing me pain. Mostly, he wants me to go away, so he thinks that torturing me will accomplish his goal.

Being the stubborn and thick-headed person that I am, we are horn-locked in a battle of wills, and I cannot allow myself to ease off first.

So, I go out there, in the garage, sometimes early in the day, sometimes late in the day, and I stare him down. He laughs at me, as if to ask me if I am back for more, and I always reply that yes, I am back for more, and I will continue coming back for more so he might as well get used to me. And then the mêlée begins.

I’m ready. Socks and gym shoes, squeeze-the-life-out-of-my-girls sports bra, ugly shorts, hair in a ponytail, and clenched fists. We’re going to do this and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Everything is plugged in, everything is secure, and so I step up into position and flip the switch.

The belt starts to roll backwards as I prepare to step upon the moving surface. The pace is perfectly timed, doesn’t vary, and the whole treadmill appears to be this benign entity, but I know what an evil piece of machinery he really is. I know that despite the instructions stating flatly that each gear has a fixed pace, he will vary that speed and send me into a sudden quickening pace, or slow down to a near crawl. Somehow he releases a hallucinogenic gas that makes witnesses blind to these variances, and they tell me I’m nuts for thinking the machine speed changes. They can see nothing. Are they in on the evil plan or is his power of persuasion that strong?

If you ignore the changes in the speed, which he reserves strictly for when I use him, then there’s the issue with incline. He is designed with a 15% incline that is not adjustable, but after a while of walking with the irregularity of the belt’s speed, it also suddenly feels steeper. Somehow, the steel legs that keep the treadmill stable will grow in the front only, creating at least a 30% grade instead of the 15 I am accustomed to. My calves start to burn and I lean forward to acclimatize to the new incline, and then I lose my balance for reasons I still cannot grasp. How does he manage this incline that other people cannot detect? Why is he trying so hard to break me?

Perhaps the worst thing he does is screw with my brain. The gas he releases to fool witnesses into believing that he is not speeding up and slowing down, nor is he rearing up in the front to make my workout more unpleasant, but this gas lulls me into a false sense of security. My pulse isn’t racing, but it does speed up. I’m not sweating profusely, but perspiring a little. My calves burn, but I do not feel like my legs cannot go on. I push on because the battle is fierce and to wear me out quickly would be anticlimactic for him.

Yet, my brain still has some semblance of control, and I look at the timer to see that I’ve been hauling ass on this machine for quite some time, so I likely need to take a break for some water and stretching.

I turn the switch off and the evil starts to settle all around.

Suddenly I’m aware that I cannot catch my breath, my head has begun to sweat profusely, and my legs have turned to molten lava. The burning in my calves is so intense that I actually grasp them as if I could put out the internal fire with my kneading thumbs. I look back at the treadmill and he is looking quite smug. He feels that he has won another round because he is unhindered by the encounter, yet I am now crippled.

We will have a rematch tomorrow. And everyday from now on. And we will see who is smug in the long run.

I limp into the house and collapse on the couch with a tumbler of ice water the size of a small barrel. I have always known that walking was the one thing I could do forever, leaving many people doubled over and exhausted in my dust. Why am I so exhausted after so short a period of time on a walking machine?

Boyfriend Extraordinaire can run circles around me in every physical challenge we encounter, but I can out walk him each and every time. Without so much as a sore leg muscle or aching foot, I walk miles and miles on trails we hike, having to stop to wait for him to catch up, and the end of the adventure leaves me feeling as lazy and normal as any inactive day, but he is sprawled out and moaning about his swollen and agonizing feet, his calves and ankle muscles that won’t stop seizing up on him, and he begs for an easier day tomorrow. Pshaw! This is the one thing I can do well. I cannot climb rocks or trees, I cannot row a boat, I cannot swim or run for more than a laughable distance, and I can’t even throw with any kind of skill. I have no strength. I will never be an athlete. I have no endurance in any sport, and almost as little aptitude for anything remotely skillful. But dammit, I can walk! Truthfully, I can walk on even surfaces forever, but uphill kills me. I try to avoid the hilly hikes just because it fucks with my hiking confidence, but walking I can and will do for unbelievable distances, regularly.

Now why on earth this stupid treadmill flattens me after less than 15 minutes walking at a medium pace just baffles me!

There is evil at work here.

I will continue to fight the good fight, but it would be nice to get to the core of the evil possessing my treadmill and have some kind of exorcism.

Exorcise for exercise.

If you read in the paper or hear on the news about a woman found dead, wrapped in a reality-defying knot of flesh and machinery in her garage, you will know that my battle ended in a draw. Barring the draw, I shall prevail. Oh yes, I will beat the evil treadmill.

1 comment:

BeckEye said...

Death to all exercise machines!!

I say this a week before I am to go to the beach and although I've been promising myself that I would lose weight since JANUARY, I've not lost a pound.