Treadmills are great. On a day when you want to jog but look out your window and there’s three feet of snow outside, treadmills are nice to have. Or when it is so hot and muggy that you start dripping sweat as soon as you step outside in your running shoes, they are a nice alternative. But beware – these helpful machines can sometimes lead to nasty bruises or just a bruised ego when mishaps happen. This week’s FitCrypt describes those awful moments that have happened to us all, when things get out of hand on the treadmill.
Sometimes we get distracted watching TV, changing our music, or zoning out and thinking of something else. But that small strip of rubber is moving quickly and it demands our attention.
Patricia Vee knows the feeling: “I don’t know if I was too busy looking at the TV, or everyone’s reflection in the mirror. (Thinking…why am I so red in the face? How does that man run at 8.0 on the treadmill? That woman is going over her 30 minute treadmill rule.) Suddenly, my left foot slipped, don’t know how but it did. It was like a slow motion movie as I saw myself in the mirror, slipping. The treadmill grabbed me and seemed to vomit me like yesterday’s lunch off the back of the treadmill. Klu pump!”
Probably the worst part isn’t the falling, it’s everyone else seeing you fall, especially if you have no good explanation for your tumble.
“I have fallen on the treadmill at the YMCA and I was only at 2.2 speed. After I rolled to the end, the guy running at probably a 9.9 next to me helped me up and went back to his run. The only thing bruised was my strut because it’s hard to walk like a peacock after a treadmill knock down,” Anita told us.
After Jennifer Purdie took an unsightly tumble from a treadmill at a gym, she thought it may have gone undetected. “I was hoping nobody noticed, but I heard a voice on from the other side of the gym shout, ‘Are you OK?’ and the guy on the treadmill next to me held his hand to the side of his face to disguise his laughing.”
Does the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” apply to treadmills? There are conflicting viewpoints.
“Let’s say I got ‘distracted.’ I went flying backwards, landing on my back. You know, treadmills are like horses. You need to get back on right away,” advises Richard Kelleher.
Or maybe, in some cases, don’t.
“Her CD player fell from the treadmill console. She dodged it with a skip-hop but lost her footing and was thrown off the end of the belt…She tried to run back up the belt and was again thrown off. This happened once more before the guy running on the treadmill next to her stopped his and reached over to the one she was on and pressed the emergency stop,” Joseph Potts told us after seeing this happen to his girlfriend.
Do treadmills have a mind of their own? Judge for yourself: “I had a partial knee replacement and had physical therapy. On the final day, I began to use the treadmill. After 4 minutes, I tried to slow the treadmill down. Instead, the machine began to increase the speed, going faster and faster. I called out for help and quickly had to start running! I was moving so fast that I could not get ahold of the emergency stop pull. Finally, I jumped onto the runner on the left side with my left foot and put my right foot on top of it, while holding onto the sides. The therapist was able to slow it down and stop it. I was out of breath and only then could I laugh at the situation. I knew my knee was as good as new!” Freda Emmons told us.
In the end, don’t have so much pride that you can’t laugh at yourself. Embarrassing things, including going head over heels on a treadmill happen to everyone! So dust yourself off and know that at the very least, you now have a good story to tell!