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RIPOur treadmill died recently. It was awful. Like an amateur actor, who decides his death scene is his moment of glory, it let out terrible noises and skipped its rhythm occasionally. We’d changed the belt 3-4 times during the years, but this was the sound of grinding gears and death moans all in one. I half expected parts to fly from its bowels.

Anyway, we pulled the plug and took it off life-support. Now it sits in a corner of the basement waiting to be disassembled so that it can fit through the doorways on its way to its final resting place.

Today the truck arrived with the new one. I guess I’m not sentimental because the old one had to be present while the new one was assembled. Two large men showed up in the afternoon and carried the transformer-sized box to the basement.

For a moment I thought how women, who are home alone, should not allow strangers into their house. But I wasn’t going to pack it to the basement and I doubted we’d get around to assembling it.

My chinning bar from Christmas still lies in pieces on the rug. At least the instructions have been looked at.

Still, I was a bit nervous. I debated getting a certain shiny object from the bedroom safe and setting it nonchalantly on the counter next to where I was unloading the dishwasher. But a glance in a mirror reminded me that I’m a middle aged grandma. I wouldn’t worry except one of the men, who looked like he hadn’t had a haircut in six years, smelled like he never bathed, and had few teeth left, looked at me intensely when he passed by. Poor guy might have been homeless and picked up jobs where he could. Still, I hung out near the knife drawer and locked the deadbolts when they left.

Later I tried out the new addition to the basement. It’s like a Ferrari of treadmills. It has lights, programs, and speakers bigger than my first clock radio. This baby hums. Literally—no more noisy complaining every time an elevation or speed changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if it speaks Jillian Michaels.

treadmillHowever, as I mentioned above, I am a middle aged woman. My knees are not what they used to be, and within ten minutes my lungs were burning. It’s the old adage, use it or lose it. I definitely have lost it.

But undaunted, I’ll be back tomorrow. And the day after. First goal—stop breathing louder than the machine I’m on.