Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Witz Pickz: Standard Treadmill Procedure

I still can't feel my finger tip. For those of you keeping track at home, that's 4.5 days. Let the betting begin.

In other news, I was privy to the most frustratingly annoying thing ever at the gym. At my gym, there are about 10-15 treadmills and inevitably, if you go at any regular time, there's a line for those treadmills. The line usually isn't very bad, maybe 10-20 minutes at the absolute worst time, and most of the time it's in the 5 minute range. The other day, I managed to hit that anomaly time when EVERYONE running seemed to have started right before I got there, so nobody was finishing up. Except for one kid. While I stood next in line, waiting for a treadmill and watching the minutes pass, a skinny kid walked excrutiatingly slowly on a treadmill a few feet away. How slowly? Well, when I looked at his speed, it said ".5," which is approximately the speed at which turtles move WHILE SLEEPING, and coincidently, the speed at which my brain starts to slowly set itself on fire with rage. And he wasn't even reading a book or watching television.

I tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for why this person was "exercising" so minimally with so many other people around him. "Maybe he JUST bought some new shoes and is trying to break them in RIGHT BEFORE a really important interview or meeting that he can't be sweaty for." That seemed reasonable, but implausible, because he was running in sneakers (we'll talk about how some geographic regions of the country call them tennis shoes another day). My next thought was that maybe he was in some kind of a "Speed," scenario, wherein he was not allowed to stop moving, but had to be in constant motion or else a bomb strapped to family would explode. If that were the case, I would think he'd want to be out on a street so he could at least walk towards or near options of strategic use, or at least get some fresh air. I mean, regardless of your dire circumstances, it's kind of douchey to take up a treadmill for that long at a gym. It's called sharing.

My next two thoughts were long shots (not like those first two), but like to think they show significant thought and knowledge. "Maybe he's a Lost Boy of Sudan, and is reliving the tragic and seemingly impossible journey he took to refuge." I wanted this to be true, because of my previously mentioned secret desire to show Lost Boys how to use everyday appliances and technology here in the States, but I knew it wasn't true, for the same reason that I knew it wasn't, "Maybe his ancestor was on the Trail of Tears and he is taking that journey in his mind's eye." This would have been great and acceptable, only he was the wrong kind of Indian. It was far more likely that he was recreating his cousin's walk to the HP Tech Support Center in Bangalore. He looked like what one of the slave children in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom would have looked like during their awkward teen years...

Out of ideas, I simply stared, shocked, baffled, and severely pained by the event I was witnessing. Every few minutes or so, another calorie probably ticked off on the machine, and I started to wonder if this guy ever did anything else, or if he simply loped all day on a treadmill, maybe calling in stock deals every few hours, and then had a sandwhich delivered to him mid-stride. And it was right at that point when my migraine of frustration reached its peak, and my brain started plotting ways to kill a man without having 40 people around him notice-- when I honestly thought, "He may never leave that treadmill again,"-- that he simply stepped off and left. Like PEACED. One minute he was on the treadmill, the next minute he was off it and out the door.

I walked over to the machine, and stood standing there like an idiot, waiting for the machine to stop. It took me a few long moments to realize that the machine was STILL ON. He never actually turned it off-- that's how slowly it was going. It was impossible to tell if the machine was winding down to zero or if it was actually just moving at speeds that glaciers would mock. I looked back at the other people behind me for support and gave them the, "What the hell is going on, am I supposed to go on here or is he still using it," face, which actually probably came off more like, "I wanna get on this treadmill now, but really have to pee." Either way, I got a few looks of support and a few looks of consternation, so I turned off the treadmill and stepped on for my long-awaited run.

The problem with waiting 20 minutes for a treadmill is that you have to make it count when you get one. So even though I should have been relieved, I suddenly realized that I was in for a long trip myself. I immediately wished I had a sharpee so I could write "Championship Runner" on my t-shirt, so the next guy staring and loathing me from the sidelines would at least think that I was in training and not just a guy who really likes pizza and socially acceptable physical appearances. Oh well.

If I Could Run My Legs the Way I Run My Mouth, I'd Look Anorexic,

"I wish I lived in Ethiopia-- everyone there is SO SKINNY!" -Girl in my High School...


Anonymous said...

I know the thought is kind of a kill-joy, but perhaps your treadmill nemesis was suffering from some kind of injury, or was recovering from surgery? Like, maybe one of his fingers became mysteriously numb and his doctors had to operate on his spinal cord to correct the damage.

JKow said...

Did you notice any hidden cameras? Perhaps you'll be on the Today Show soon with your face blurred out and the label "Annoyed-but-not-annoyed-enough-to-do- anything guy #3".