The Time I Fell Off the F'ing Treadmill at the Gym
So listen, this is a true story (I wouldn't lie), intended to lighten your day and possibly make you feel a little bit better about yourself at a time when you might be feeling just a little pathetic. Now, we all do embarrassing things. Things we look back on and regret, and things that we just review in our heads either minutes, hours, or days after we do them and ask ourselves, "why the F*** did I do that?" Well, I don't get embarrassed, so that doesn't really apply to me. Just kidding, but I will say it's pretty freakin' hard to belittle me. When you've done as much stupid crap in your life as I have humiliation eventually becomes a waste of time. With me it becomes more of a slight blush, followed by a if you don't know me, bite me, you don't matter anyway... or, a come on, you know how I am, don't act like this is a surprise. Let's laugh this off and get this show on the road.
Now that you know how I react emotionally let's go into a little background regarding my physical history. No, I'm not talking about whether or not I've ever had coronary disease in my life, or chronic hemorrhoids (which I have) or anything like that. I mean my history involving physical activities and skills. Aside from being an incredibly talented and coordinated beast in the sack, I also played baseball, football, boxed, skated, and played a crap-ton of pick up hockey and basketball throughout the course of my life. I am now a full-time firefighter and I was in the Marine Corps for 6 years. I used to run a sub-nineteen minute three-mile, do twenty (plus) pull-ups, and could jump any fence or wall and scale any obstacle I so pleased, or climb a rope without using my legs. Ok look, I'll make this easy. I did it all. I'm a pretty legit human being.
Now with that being said, I was at the gym last week, and seeing that (at twenty-six years old and 5'10''/200lbs) I am developing high blood pressure, I have decided to incorporate a little cardio back into my life and stop focusing solely on weight lifting. I've been trying lately to start every workout with a little running on the treadmill or around the neighborhood, and some abdominal exercises. In my latest workout for example I ran 1.25 miles at a 7.5-8.0 mph pace before I began lifting. Well, in the scenario in which this story takes place I had arrived at the gym wearing my sweet "Old Time Hockey- Boston Bruins" hoodie. I jumped on the treadmill and did a quick walking warm-up for about two minutes, after which I sped it up to the previously mentioned speed of about 7.5 mph.
I was about five minutes on the treadmill when I started breaking a sweat. At about seven minutes or so, I decided (even though looking back, it was not necessary) that even though I could stand it, I wanted my sweatshirt off. Bad decisions enter, stage right. Now knowing what I know about myself, being "legit" and all, and unable to do wrong, I decided even though I was wearing a pull-over hoodie that I was going to take it off without either 1) turning off or turning down the machine, or 2) getting off the machine. Oh and before I forget, I think it is necessary to mention that I also neglected to put on that niffty little safety strap which is supposed to rip out and stop the machine should you fall too far back.
So there I am, running at a near-sprinting speed, with my hoodie pulled up to and now (stuck) around my head when something happens next that I had only ever seen on television.
The next thing I know I'm being flung into the back wall like a goddamn cartoon (sweatshirt still stuck around my head). A shooting pain races up my leg as I realize that I smashed the soon-to-be swollen limb into the machine during my brief trip off the back. I managed to stay on my feet... again, because I am legit- and tore my sweatshirt off so that I could see. So what was the first thing I see? I see five people (including three gym employees) staring at me after witnessing the entire incident. I look over at one of them (again) not so much embarrassed, but not sure exactly how to play it off or what to say. So letting my instincts guide me I decide NOT to try and play it cool, but instead say to the guy, "well shit, that fucking hurt..."
In hind sight I feel like that probably wasn't the most appropriate reaction towards someone I don't know. He looked concerned and asked if I was alright, as did the employees at the desk. I laughed, said yes of course, and looked back down at the treadmill which was still rapidly spinning with nobody on it. I cringed, flexed my leg in pain, and jumped back on the rotating table of death-- only to nearly bite it once more! I didn't this time, but wouldn't that have been a story....
If you didn't exactly find this story as funny as I do then maybe it was one of those "I guess you had to be there," gems. But ultimately, I suppose the bottom line is this-- You are not (as much as you may think you are) impervious to stupidity. And it will bite you. Most likely while others are watching.