Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Witz DOESN'T Pick: Lying Sack of Treadmills
I wish the treadmill wasn't a goddamn liar. Alright, lemme start over. These days, I'll take praise wherever I can get it, which is why when a treadmill tells me "Great Work!" I like to think I can believe it. But no, I can't. So again: I wish the treadmill wasn't a goddamn liar.
Here's what happened. I had just finished running for an hour at the gym. I had long ago soaked through my shirt, so my sweat had progressed down to my shorts--that's how I know I've really put in a solid effort, when I end up looking like an extra in The Impossible (oo, topical!). It doesn't help any that the little treadmill fans are the rice cakes of the fan world--a nice idea, but entirely function-less and always breaking. The air comes out of the vents like an eighty-nine year old man trying to quietly blow out his birthday candles. And failing. A few months back, when my gym asked what I thought needed improvement I wrote loudly, "MORE FANS, PLEASE!" Instead, they replaced half the treadmills with newer models which no longer had fans on them and then raised everyone's membership $1.95/mo. Touche.
This is all to say that I really HAD done some "Great Work!" on the treadmill. I'd run over six miles, had burned just under one-thousand calories, and despite my soggy everything, I felt the treadmill and I had bonded during our time together, so I appreciated the parting praise. I went to get some paper towels and disinfectant to wipe down the machine and when I returned, some dude had already hopped on the treadmill and had started walking. "Oh, sorry, I can wipe that down for you," I said, because I'm a classy motherfucker and also because the treadmill looked like a Rorschach test of my perspiration. "Oh, sure, thanks, sorry!" the guy said and hit the stop button. I stepped up to wipe off the screen and noticed four things: ":47 seconds," ".03 miles," "4 calories," and taunting me across the top, the words "Great Work!"
But that is not great work, is it? No. It is not. It is not great work at all. It is bullshit.
I'd been had.
When you're condescended and lied to by a machine, it really makes you take a step back and put things in perspective. Like maybe you shouldn't be putting quite so much weight on treadmill-based achievements. At the very least, maybe you shouldn't be pleased by a pre-programmed assortment of LED lights intended to motivate each and every person who sets foot on said treadmill. Machines are not people (except for Johnny Five who was more human than any of us will ever be). Perhaps, one should put more stock in human-based feedback, and put more energy towards actual achievements. Like writing more than two blog posts a month for a bunch of readers who have been reading crap like this for over six years.
Then again, I really think I can impress that treadmill. So, we'll have to wait and see.
I Bet Pro Athletes Slap Each Other On the Ass and Wink So They Know That They Mean It, Like, "Great Work," Wink, Smack, "Yep, He Meant It," Because That's a Lotta Effort and Ass Play for a Lie,
Posted by Witz at 7:19 PM