The Dreadmill

The Dreadmill February 24, 2014

That’s what my kids call my treadmill.  Today, the dreadmill and I discovered an unexpected advantage to living in an old house:  you can quickly, easily, unintentionally intensify your workout significantly by moving from the mostly-level living room into what turns out to be the ridiculously uphill dining room.

PIC calves burning


Yarr. I’ve had this treadmill for about a month now, and by gum, I am using it.  I don’t own a scale, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost weight; but that wasn’t my immediate goal (even though I am most certainly too fat, and not just in a “Oh, my wife says she’s fat” way but seriously, I’m a fatty). My immediate goal was to get off the damn couch, and get to a point where I don’t look terrible, feel terrible, feel like I look terrible, and look like I feel terrible all the time.

And I am there!  I do a half hour minimum, five days a week, 3.5 miles per hour minimum, and I “punch the invisible man,” as my kids call it, for at least part of the time.  (I know food is a big component of health and weight loss, and I’m making changes there, too.)

So, I have more energy, I think I’m less moody and more optimistic, I’m sleeping better, and I have bruises all over the back of my hands because I keep whacking them on the treadmill handrails.  Overall, net win.  There are plenty of other workouts I could be doing, but this is the one I am doing, and I don’t see why I would stop doing it.  As with so many other things in life, it’s working because I’m being consistent.  I’m hoping to be in good enough shape by spring to be exercising to the point of weight loss

Best workout album so far:  Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere. It’s not just the beat, which is pretty brisk on most songs; it’s the atmosphere of “let’s revel delightfully in this sweaty misery” which I find motivating.  What an amazing album. It should be written up as a case study of the intelligent, self-aware, artistic patient self-medicating for severe depression.  Boy, that doesn’t make it sound like much fun. But it is fun!

Looking for a good song to excerpt, I came across this live version of “Transformer.”  Holy wow, what a voice:

The Pogues are also pretty good for a strong beat and a sensation that we’re all just suffering bastards here, so why not get a little sweatier?

Also, I have tried all the ear buds in the house, which includes every brand from Dollar Tree to Mac, and they all fall out of my ears. Finally broke down and bought my own, which are JVC Gumy Inner Ear headphones, and they don’t fall out. The sound is fine.  I can barely hear what is going on around me, which is a little alarming, but if that’s what you want, these do a good job, and are cheap.

Mrs. Stupid is kind of enjoying her stupid exercise. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

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  • Jordan

    I just finished the last lunch lecture at work in a series that our fitness center called “Weight Loss 101”, and picking a type of exercise you can be consistent with is most definitely a plus. If a treadmill is what you have to work with, and you like it, great! Also, one possibility (for whenever you feel ready to punch things up) is to just do the same kind of exercise, but in intervals rather than a constant speed (ex: super-fast walking, or sprinting, if you’re feeling crazy, for 30 sec and then slower walking for 1:30, or something). I like doing that on a stationary bike (haven’t been going at it long, so don’t take me for Ms. Crazy Fitness gal), because 5-8 times within a half hour, and I feel like I did something with all the sprinting (or whatever you’d call sprinting on a bike), and I feel like I was good at it (another helpful aspect of a workout that will help it stick).

  • Mary V

    What keeps me on my treadmill: Podcasts!!! I love to listen to Catholic Stuff You Should Know while I’m on the dreadmilll. At 3.5 mi/hour you should be able to hear the commentary just fine and seriously, if you’re really interested in the discussion, the time flies by!
    Something to work toward, crank the speed up to 4.2-4.8 for 1 minute every once in awhile, it does wonders for your endurance.
    Good luck and congrats on the 1st month.

  • A little tip on those earbuds: Wrap them around your ear (like you’re putting them in upside down) and that helps keep them from falling out. I have the same problem as you with buds falling out.

  • anna lisa

    That’s great. I’m nicer when I exercise too. If you ever want to switch it up a little and get out of the house (half the reason for doing it) Yoga is awesome. There are people of all ages and all stages of learning and fitness. I like going with my husband or one of my kids. It’s really serene and most studios play cool music. I always realize that if I were doing it at home, I would quit not long after I get my heart rate up. Being in a group helps me to keep going. Most studios offer a week free. There are good deals on Groupon too. It really does make me feel ultra *calm* too. I think the breathing exercises really work. I pray while I do it too.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    My treadmill arrives in the mail today–or so Amazon has promised! I’m so excited. It has been too miserably windy outside to walk there and I NEED a walk.

  • Sarah

    Good for you for exercising! The cardiologist who was on my dissertation committee exclusively walks for exercise, so it can’t be too shabby.

    I find earbuds unpleasant. They make my ears hurt and seem a little unhygienic, especially if roving children borrow them without asking. I prefer the headphones that sit outside my ears and hook over. They never fall off (unless I drop my iPod – then they jerk my whole head in a most alarming way). I have the ones linked below, but I have also had some better ones without the bar, so they were just like earbuds except for no digging into my ears.