Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Up and Down

We have had a treadmill for 4 years. We’ve used it off an on throughout that time but we started using it seriously, almost nightly, last October. I have never really liked it…mostly because I can walk nearly as far on it as I can outdoors. My outdoor route through town is 3 miles and I do it in just under an hour. But inside on the treadmill I can only make it a mile before I am totally pooped and have to stop. The reason for this big discrepancy is the incline.

Our treadmill has the incline feature which allows us to increase the difficulty of our walks. Unfortunately the mechanism required to perform this task is located under the front of the machine and therefore makes it always at somewhat of an incline. So I am continually walking uphill. It is so irritating not to be able to walk on a flat surface. But I have been pushing the crazy down button for four years now and it won’t get any flatter.

That is until a couple of weeks ago…
Brian was walking one night when he suddenly jumped off and told me to get on. I complied and was shocked to find that the walking surface was totally flat!! “How did you do that”, I asked, “I’ve been pushing that stupid down arrow forever and it has never worked.” He replied, “Did you ever try pushing the up arrow?” That’s right. Down is up and up is down, apparently.

It seems that I was right about the mechanism under the front of the machine causing the incline, but the manufacturers anticipated this and therefore engineered the back of the machine to adjust up and down to change the incline of the walking surface to the desired level. So the “UP” button doesn’t increase the incline (as anyone with half a brain would suspect) but rather it raises the back of the machine to make it more level with the front.
So now I can top my outdoor walking pace because I’ve got a nice level surface and there are no uneven sidewalks or zooming cars to watch out for.

So the bad news is it took us 4 years to figure out how to work our treadmill. The good news is that we’ve been walking at the maximum incline the whole time…because I just couldn’t give up on that “DOWN” button. Was this clearly spelled out in the Owner’s Manual? Probably. But hey, we wouldn’t have these killer calves if we would have read the directions, now would we?

No comments: