Walking in a winter wonderland

I enjoy walking…my way. I like it to be in sunshine, on smooth roads, when it’s warm outside. Now, it’s hard to maintain a good walking routine when the weather gets cold and you have to get it in before you go to work. For me, walking in a winter wonderland means being bundled up in so many clothes, I look like a Goodwill donation and hoping there is no ice under my feet, because my glasses are so fogged over, I can’t see where I’m going!

The solution, of course, is to not walk outside in the “winter wonderland.” That means figuring out how to get those steps in within the confines of the house and of course, the solution to this is a treadmill. Now, this is not our first experience with treadmills. Several years ago, before I got into a walking routine, we bought a cheap treadmill. It was heavy, hard to operate, frequently malfunctioning, but on the upside, it made a great clothes hanger! When we finally lugged it out to the dump, I thought I’d never have another.

And that brings us to this week and the second treadmill of my life. This one was to be the solution to all my problems. I can use it in the early mornings in the warmth of the house. This will be good news to the neighborhood dog who is truly upset by my early morning appearance and probably upsets everyone else by his barking. But we were determined on two things: it would not be a large treadmill and it would not sit in the laundry room, thereby tempting me to turn it into a drying rack! We decided we would buy a small, easy to maneuver machine and fit it neatly in the family room between the couch and easy chair, where we could watch television.

We ordered the treadmill over the Internet and our first clue as to our miscalculation in size should have been the fact that it took two stout young men to load it onto our pickup when we did our “curbside pickup.” The second clue should have been the way the pickup sank under the load. But, we were optimistic: they always pack these things in impossibly large packages!

We knew we were in trouble when we unloaded it at home. It took both of us to drag it to the edge of the pickup box and we were unnerved by things written on the box, like “this is the heavy end.” That was written on the other end of the box from the end we were both struggling to lift! We finally got it to the steps leading down (thank heavens) to the basement and slid it down..or rather, let it slide down.

We cut it out of the box to avoid lifting it and it was then that we realized we had severely miscalculated the size. This machine, far from slipping unobtrusively between couch and chair, requires the couch to be shoved as far away as possible and even at that, I have to step on the chair to get to the treadmill. It stands almost as high as I do and makes an impressive block to the television, which I can’t see over it.

Nonetheless, I still feel good that on those icy, freezing dark mornings when I’m not sure the cars driving by can see me walking on the road, I will now be able to walk indoors on a treadmill so tall I feel like the Statue of Liberty. All of that is probably worth the pulled back muscles and footprints in my family room easy chair. The best news is that we had to move it closer to the laundry room to make it fit and when I’m walking outside this summer…it’s going to make an outstanding clothes rack!

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