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Treadmill Trauma

Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 9:03 AM

My old treadmill sits here in the kitchen, where I'm hopeful I'll use it this winter. Several of my friends have sold theirs, having tired of using them for clothes hangers and dust catchers, but I'm giving the machine one more chance before it heads out for the want ads. In the background of the photo, you'll see my lovely fruit wallpaper, a holdover from the 70's. I've decided to wait and see if it comes back into style again in 20 years or so. No need to rush things...
It's shortly after 7 a.m. as I write this morning, and a welcome sun is streaming in the windows. Temp on my outside thermometer is 32 or 34 degrees. Hard to tell, since there's a bug spot at exactly that point...

I'm sitting here at the computer, listening to Beethoven and drinking a hot cup of black coffee. As usual these days, I'm in my pink flannel pajama bottoms and a heavy sweatshirt, while the fire warms up the house.

Occasionally a shot rings out from across the deer woods, and I'm very glad I'm (hopefully) safe from my neighbors' enthusiastic teenagers who are out, shooting up the countryside... Yesterday I heard eight shots in rapid succession. My son Matthew, who is also hunting this morning, says that some people shouldn't be allowed to have automatic rifles... Each year I pray that we all survive the hunting season intact. If the deer would just come up here to the house, I would keep them safe. They could bed down here in the yard, and I would protect them! There's no hunting season in the DeJournett front yard!

Hunting season isn't my topic this morning, however, so I'd better put myself on track, hadn't I?

A couple of weeks ago, my children moved my treadmill up from the basement to the kitchen. My theory is that I may actually USE the machine if it's up here. We bought the treadmill years ago for my husband, but he fared much better when we went in to the park at Advance.

I can see why! One minute feels like an hour on the treadmill! Because of the plug in situation, the machine faces away from the living room TV, and I've also discovered that I have to turn my CD player up super loud in order to hear it over the roar of the treadmill. My cats scatter for cover at such times.

Right now, I have the ambitious goal of adding one minute to the ten minutes I've started with. I'm up to thirteen. Whoopee! Madeline's tearing up the rubber, folks!

I think of everything imaginable that needs to be done, while I'm on the treadmill. As soon as I set foot on that rubber belt, I think of a million things to do besides walk.

In the days of my 2-4 mile walking program, I discovered the value of an early morning walk, so I put on my shoes and hit the pavement (or gravel) by 7:30 a.m. every morning and again in the evening. The good thing about the morning walk is the way it gets your metabolism ramped up. Then, you seem to burn fat all day, and the pounds can just melt off throughout the day.

I know that! So why don't I do it??

I hate to admit it, but I spend way too much time on this computer. Yes, I do research for articles, and, yes, I communicate with friends, family, and people who have things to put in the paper, but I think I also waste a lot of time, just looking at "stuff." I don't have to worry about playing games, because I consider that a waste of time. No virtual reality games for me! The REAL reality is more than enough!

I think I heard somewhere that our society is now feeling the effects of a computer "addiction." I believe it. A computer addiction may not cost us as much as a gambling addiction (Can you believe that Prop A passed???) - but who knows how many hours are lost with "addicts" like my brother, who works nights and spends his days playing "World of Warfare"???

Well, it's 8:30 a.m. now, and I'd LIKE to skip the treadmill this morning and take a real walk in real time on real gravel on my real lane in the sunshine and yellow leaves. However, I'm afraid I'll get shot, so I guess I'll crank up ole Skinny Boy, the treadmill, and see if I can shed a few rolls of fat!

From the golden hills of Tillman, Mo., this is your chunky roving reporter Madeline, signing off on a picture perfect fall Sunday morning.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I always try singing (loud) when I'm on the treadmill, that really gets me in the mood. I've never deer hunted and from what I read it can be a real adventure. Toooooo many inexperienced gun totters with no regard to others safety. Pray every year everyone survives.

Just keep thinking you can do it, you can do it, and Spring will be here before long. Cheers, me.

-- Posted by changedname on Sun, Nov 16, 2008, at 1:56 PM

Remember what Robert Frost taught us about having many miles to go before we sleep. If your treadmill has a book rack, try that! I'm good at giving exercise advice, since I've learned that my stationary bike doubles (or singles) as a great clothes rack. I think I should get on there now,since I should ride a few miles before I sleep. You are so right! This computer gets in the way of many other things that should be done. Proof is in the responses.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Nov 16, 2008, at 3:30 PM

"The woods is lovely, dark and deep,

But I have miles to go before I sleep!"

Ah, the MASTER!

I somehow doubt that Frost had a treadmill. He didn't seem the type. He'd have been outside, taking the road less traveled and watching the birch trees!

Oh, my, I may have to get my Frost collection down from the shelf and read awhile!

Thanks, gonenow!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Nov 16, 2008, at 4:27 PM

Reading Robert Frost is much more entertaining than walking those miles on a treadmill. If you could read it as you walk, now that might just "make all the difference". I just took my walk, but I live where I can walk outdoors. There are no hunters around here either. Be careful! Did you ever read poetry by Nancy Wood? If not, I highly recommend it. Her connection to the earth and the spiritual self is contagious. She is Cherokee. (Read it, then go up to Trail of Tears for a real jolt! Take it with you.)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Nov 16, 2008, at 4:37 PM

Madeline, in the 1970s an advertising man, Jerry Mander, wrote "Four Arguments for ehe Elimination of Television." One of his arguments was the destructive mental and psychological effects of television on people. A number of Mander's observations about TV are applicable to computer use, including the addictiveness of TV. Research has also shown that computers retard learning in children, they decrease business productivity, and just this week I heard that a study has confirmed computers increase infidelity! Particularly among women. I'm sure we all know adults that play games so compulsively on their computer that their keyboard couldn't be pried from their hands with a crowbar, and people whose spouse has split with someone they met on the Internet.

Perhaps the solution to your excercise situation is rig your computer so you can beat on the keyboard and blog/email while you are treadmilling. The hypnotic effect of staring at the screen will make time fly by, and before you know it you will have "walked" miles.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Nov 18, 2008, at 6:08 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I believe it all except for the infidelity, FJ! A woman - or man - doesn't need a computer to turn to the cheatin' side of life!!

I don't see how that fruit wallpaper doesn't make you so dizzy that you fall off the treadmill! I can only imagine how your kids must make fun of it!

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 9:43 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Shame on you, Youngest Child!! This wallpaper was the Cat's Meow back in the early 70's, which may have been long before you were born... It's come back into fashion several times since then, and the fact that it hasn't been changed only shows that I choose to spend my money more wisely than to put it on my walls!! Through the years, there have been, let's see....gymnastics lessons, little pink sparkly swimsuits, twirling lessons, and other such important items that I would MUCH RATHER spend my hard-earned teacher's salary on than WALLPAPER!!

My kids will just have to put up with the embarrassment of having a mother with fruit wallpaper!!! Hahahahahaha!

WebTV MD! If you can turn your treadmill just a bit towards your t.v. you can have your net and do your walk. In fact, you may even spend a little more time on the treadmill if your mind is preoccupied with the internet!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 7:16 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Hahaha! Good thinking, dolphin! However, my computer is in my living room, and my treadmill is in the kitchen... I can't figure a way to resolve that problem!

As I sit here at the computer by the front windows, I'm totally wrapped in FLANNEL to keep warm. It would be NICE to be able to walk myself warm right now - but, alas...

One possible solution is to dig out my old Walkman, get a new headset, and walk to the oldies. I used to really cover some ground, moving to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"!! I also had a Richard Simmons' walking tape! "C'mon, girls, you can do it!! I believe in you!!"

The songs that get me going are ones that are empowering. I love to walk, but I just don't have the room for a treadmill, I can't stand walking in the cold, and going to that place we don't speak of is out of the question because I refuse to go in such a place without money! Too bad I don't have money, then I'd just drive up to Cape and walk the mall. Retail therapy can also be good for you!

And on the subject of that wallpaper...paint it! Wallpaper has gone out of style altogether from what I've seen. C'mon MD! There's you a project that'll work your arms at the same time!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 8:02 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Haha! In the first 10-15 years of our marriage, my husband lined up a big painting job for me every summer when I was out of school. I painted three of our houses, I think, and one of my mother's. I LOVED to paint! Just like I used to love to wash cars! Now I can't imagine using all that energy and getting into such a mess!

I would never paint over the wallpaper! My husband's ghost would come in here and knock me off my ladder! That is not the proper way to do it, he'd say! You remove the wallpaper first, prepare the wall, and only then do you touch paint to plasterboard!

However, the last time I removed wallpaper - from the downstairs bathroom - I was sick for three days, and I didn't know if my lungs were EVER going to recover! That never used to happen to me. It's rough getting old!

MD, they research show that makes the Internet makes infidelity easier, particularly if a person is seeking men or women outside one's peer group. I know two guys who got divorced after their wives began hooking up with multiple guys of a different ethnicity that comprised maybe 1% of the local population. Couldn't have happened without the anonymity of the Internet. I think both guys are much better off, although paying child support, etc. is a downside.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 2:13 PM

We are all speechless, FJGuy...

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 9:35 PM

Uh, to get back on track--I mean, the TREADMILL...! My husband mounted a little flat-screen TV on the wall in front of my treadmill. I thought it would help to watch Regis & Kelly as I walked.

That didn't work. So now I have a DVD player hooked up too the little flat-screen TV so I can watch old movies. A little better!

When I walk down the "cotton field road" I have my iPod and I've downloaded 9 songs from the "60's Remix" -- these songs make you MOVE! 144-148 driving beats per minute! They've taken songs that were hot in the 60's and put them to a big beat that's easy to walk to. I love it!

I've still been walking in the cold, but dang, it's 29 this morning. Back to the treadmill and "Sex and the City" on a DVD!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Nov 22, 2008, at 8:22 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Haha! Lovebooks, I can't believe you even know the number of beats per minute!! If I can find my Walkman with the tape my sister made me, I think it's comparable to yours. I used to LOVE to walk to that music! Unfortunately, the Walkman was in the desk which I emptied and donated to the Senior Center Auction - so I would have room for the treadmill!! Now I can't find it! (If I only had a brain!!!)

"Sex and the City" ought to get you hot, too!!

Oh dear. It's the OCD in me. I have to point out that I said, "...hooked up TOO the little..." in my last comment.

Sorry, English Teachers! (Including myself)

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Nov 22, 2008, at 8:24 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I must really be slipping: I didn't even catch it!!

MD, WebTV is a little gadget that goes to your television set. It's a wireless keyboard, and a system set up so you don't need a computer...just a television that most everyone already has! I think I was told it's a little more money than having internet...but if it'll help ya get moving and get your stuff done too...wouldn't it be worth it???

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sat, Nov 22, 2008, at 1:42 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Aha! So that's what that thing is! I have a friend on the Senior Center board who has one, and she can get and send email. It's cheaper than a computer, for sure.

Maybe if I can just turn my treadmill the other way, I can see the TV... I'll have my son help me with it tomorrow. May have to drag out an extension cord.

Thanks for all the suggestions, girlfriends!!

THE CITY HAS always been an engine of intellectual life, from the 18th-century coffeehouses of London, where citizens gathered to discuss chemistry and radical politics, to the Left Bank bars of modern Paris, where Pablo Picasso held forth on modern art. Without the metropolis, we might not have had the great art of Shakespeare or James Joyce; even Einstein was inspired by commuter trains.



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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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