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Walk, don't run

I took advantage of a sale at the mall the other day and bought one of those really big, supercharged, multi-function, programmable, varying incline, high-tech treadmills. I could stand to lose a few pounds and keep my blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Maybe next time I go to see my doctor, he won't roll his eyes when I come into the room.

I set up my ProMasterGargantua3000 in the family room and immediately plugged it in and started it up. Did you read the instructions, you might ask? I did later, after the accident.

I was impressed with all of the indicators and flashing lights on the console. It's a guy thing; what can I say?

The machine monitors my heart rate, my breathing, my brain function and my endorphin output. It also tells me how many miles I've walked, how many calories I've burned off and how much farther I have to go before the machine takes pity on me and shuts off.

It has a programmed training feature that ranges from low intensity to high intensity to please, for the love of God, stop this thing before I puke.

As I stood on the belt, I looked at the console and decided to just start pushing buttons. Right off the bat, the treadmill started at 10 mph and I went backward through the wall, leaving an outline of myself in the paneling not unlike Bugs Bunny does when he quickly exits a room.

Once I came to, I picked up the owner's manual and started leafing through it. As I read the book, I found that I had to decide if I wanted to burn fat, to get an aerobic workout or if I just wanted to look buff. I've never in my entire life looked buff and at this point I probably never will. And so, I opted to burn fat.

It wasn't long before I got the hang of it and was walking along at a good clip. I was perspiring to beat the band and my heart rate was in the triple digits.

I had set up the treadmill in front of the TV, but soon discovered that the machine was so loud, I couldn't hear my favorite program. I then grabbed a book and placed it in the treadmill's convenient book holder. But after a half-mile, I started to get motion sickness, just like I do when I read in the car.

OK, I thought, I'll just forget the TV and the book and hum to myself. But I found it difficult to hum at the same time I was gasping for air.

So I grabbed my water bottle that was resting in my convenient water bottle holder and took a swig. Unfortunately, I had not firmly screwed the top onto the bottle and all the water came out and splashed onto the treadmill's motor, shorting it out.

Once I was able to get the smoke detector to stop shrieking, I toweled off and sat down. I can't describe how good I felt at that moment. My muscles ached, but it was a good ache. My back was sore, but it was a good sore. My feet had blisters, but they were good blisters.

I was proud that I had done something so good for myself. Gee, I thought, I think there's a half a bag of Oreos upstairs.

News editor James Logue can be reached at 626-1031 or by e-mail at jlogue@exponent-telegram.com.

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