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The “beast” in my basement - Out of sight, out of mind


Saturday, January 26, 2013

DH saw me typing this title and thought I might be referring to him. His office is in the basement and he does spend a lot of time there. He also shows up in my blog now and then.

No Joe, the beast is not you, but this old behemoth that we bought 20 years ago. Remember how we figured that it would save a lot of money on gym memberships and you would use it too? It didn’t work out as planned, did it?



It was the first of the generic “Lifecycle” models with a computerized display for terrain. It replaced the recumbent cycle that also seemed like a good idea at the time. We gave that one away when we realized that reclining on a cycle was not a natural position for either of us.

At least these 2 experiences kept me from buying my own treadmill. I knew I wouldn’t use it – not enough to justify the cost anyway.

I never gave up my gym membership and regularly workout there. I prefer the outdoors, but as a weather wimp I often seek my fitness in an air-conditioned or heated environment. I have a climate controlled house that I could fill with personal equipment and yet I don’t want to. What’s the difference?

For me it’s the solitary nature of cycling in the basement going nowhere. At home I always saw something else that I’d rather be doing. Even after retirement with more free time, that mindset continued.

Outside I take in the sights and enjoy nature. At the gym I people-watch and carry on a conversation with the regulars. Twice a week classes are important to me too.

SP had an article recently about deciding if a gym membership is right for you, along with tips about choosing the right one for your lifestyle. Purchasing home exercise equipment is in the same category. Great for some, not for everyone and hopefully we know which group we’re in before we lay out the cash.

So why am I writing about this today? We got snow yesterday, not much by northern standards, but enough to cause dangerous road conditions around here. Unless the sun melts the ice I shouldn’t drive to the gym. It’s probably closed anyway.

So beast, it’s just you and me. You’re better than nothing so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m not alone in owning an unused fitness machine. That’s how “Play it Again Sports” makes a profit. Some people use theirs as a place to hang clothes. I admit that mine occasionally has served as a drying rack for blankets and comforters.

Anyone else out there in my situation?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CAROLCRC 1/28/2013 8:41AM

    Lots of miles on my Treadmill and recumbent bike! Helps that we set up a dvd player - you can get in a lot of mileage watching movies.

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STRIVERONE 1/27/2013 11:34AM

    I have a Nordictrack that I bought in 1983 for $800. In today's money, I think that's about a million dollars. Anyway. In the first 25 years, it got less than three hours use for its intended purpose. In the last three years, I have been using it semi-frequently as a warm-up tool.

A good friend of mine bought a pretty nice treadmill a year ago with similar intentions and follow through to those I had with the Nordictrack. Anyway, he's facing his reality and lack of space, and passing it on to me. to date, the only time I have used a treadmill is to take a stress test. If I can use this one to supplement road and trail running and develop a more efficient running technique, it will be a gift. If it keeps me inside when when the weather is not ideal, then, not so much.

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GINIEMIE 1/27/2013 11:17AM

    My treadmill has had more miles on it in the last year than in the three years prior, but still not enough to have warranted its purchase, and it takes up a lot of room in my sun room. The exer-cycle Steve and I had bought many years ago,at a garage sale, rarely got any use and was frequently used as a clothes dryer, or a place to hang clothes as I finished ironing. I got rid of it when I downsized. I regret that almost more than buying the treadmill. I had wanted a treadmill I could fold up when not in use but my 4th child, who found it for me, did not take into consideration my small space when he and his BIL went to check this out for me and purchased it. Erik won't use it because it does not have long enough safety rails, I can't use it when Erik's up because it interferes with his TV and it is too noisy to walk on when he's sleeping. Sooo when the weather is nice I'm outside, when it's not I look at my beast and wished I'd never bought it.
emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/27/2013 11:07AM

    I have to admit my stationary bike and my elliptical do get clothes hung on them a lot LOL! But I do use them at times too. I put them in front of the tv and watch shows on Netflix or something to pass the time. Not my favorite forms of activity (especially the elliptical) but they have come in handy at times when I couldn't get out for one reason or another. But it's true, our national (and probably some others) pay a fortune for exercise equipment we don't use very often.

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MJZHERE 1/27/2013 10:35AM

    I have the exact same model that was given to me. It lives in my office, and I have occasionally got on a streak of using it rather consistently (in the summers we have 115+ temps). Too cheap for a gym membership that I am concerned I won't truly use on a consistent basis, especially since we have beautiful winters where I can be outside.

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ROSEWAND 1/26/2013 10:15PM

    I love my treadmill. I keep it, not in the basement,
but in my office. It faces a window; so when I workout
I look to the outside. I use it three days a week.
I love that I can without effort exercise on my
own schedule. If I had to get into a car and
go to gym. It would not happen. This fits so
well into my life style. Rain or shine, cold or
hot, it is always there waiting and ready.

It and interval training changed my life nearly
five years ago. My treadmill brand is Spirit.
How appropriate is that? emoticon

Here's to: to each her own. Whatever keeps
us moving. emoticon

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MERRYMARY42 1/26/2013 6:28PM

    I too have a treadmill, and I do use it, not often, I much prefer walking, and do it daily, but when it rains, or just too darn hot, I will use it sometimes, as well as going to the gym 3 times a week, I do not love my treadmill, but real glad I have it, in fact my DH has been venturing on it once in awhile, and he will not walk with me, (and he really should. emoticon )

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FFRSKI 1/26/2013 6:17PM

    I promised I'm going to get back on mine treadclimber this week. emoticon

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CELIAMINER 1/26/2013 5:32PM

    We have one just like it...and it still works! I don't use it often, preferring the treadmill or the elliptical, but I sometimes cycle while watching a show or I plug in a Tabata DVD and try not to have a heart attack.
emoticon

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BOILHAM 1/26/2013 12:22PM

    World's greatest clothes rack. I think DW used hers 2 or 3 times before it was relegated to clothes rack status.

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CELLISTA1 1/26/2013 12:16PM

    Where I live it's warm most of the time. I recently bought a recumbent bike and put it outside where I can breathe fresh air and enjoy the view and listen to NPR while I pedal. I used to belong to the local Y, and I always felt like a lab rat on the treadmill, with all those other lab rats alongside me (there were about 20).

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MOOSLADY 1/26/2013 12:04PM

    I thought the beast was your husband, too, when I saw the title! My kids would use the mini trampoline, if it needs a home. They bounce a lot in the house even without them. Someone gave n a stationary bike a few years ago and I did use it when I was getting started. I can read while I use it so I don't feel like I am wasting my time. My problem is that it takes up so much room! I put it in the garage and still use it occasionally but being outside is definitely more fun, the gym is boring, my venue of last resort. There is always something loud and stupid on the TV and people at the next treadmill doing weird stuff like leaping up onto the sides and back again. I keep the membership for the use of the kids gym. My husband is trying to convince he me would work out if he had a home gym machine but I am reluctant.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/26/2013 10:46AM

    I don't have enough room for anything fancy like that, but I have some resistance bands I haven't used in a while. I plan on getting a weight set to sit in the living room (hubby claims he'll use them too, we'll see). I also have several video games that sit unused most of the time, waiting for me to be hard up enough to use them.

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HAYBURNER1969 1/26/2013 10:41AM

    Of course I owe half of my genetics to you, and I obviously inherited this trait. I cannot work out at home. Like you, I always see other things I'd rather (or need to to) be doing.

I've got an idea... Church YARD SALE!!! I think you even have a mini-trampoline down there in the basement, too...

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DR1939 1/26/2013 10:29AM

    I'm a home-gym person. We have very bad weather in the winter, and the closest gym is 6 highway miles full of drifting snow plus unplowed rural roads. I use my treadmill and cycle daily. I have book racks on both and read my Kindle while using them. In the summer we walk outdoors most days, but when it is too hot and humid (yes, we get extremes for both winter and summer) I use my home equipment.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/26/2013 10:28AM

    You are definitely not alone! Two treadmills (up north) later, and I swear I'll never have a beast like that in the house again. No need, in Florida, in any event. I miss maybe two days a year because of rain or hurricanes.

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KANDOLAKER 1/26/2013 9:44AM

    I hope your ice melts so you can get outside! We've had our share of "good intention" exercise pieces around our home over the years. They do start with good intentions though. All the best!

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_LINDA 1/26/2013 8:39AM

    emoticon emoticon
Not me -I love and use my elliptical regularly as not having winter transport to my gym means home workouts and the fact that our winters are bitterly cold and long necessitates doing something indoors for a lot of the time. My Mom's elliptical is a clothes horse -I have to unload it every time I stay there to use it. She is definately an outdoor person and hates being inside. She too, had a recumbant bike she got rid of it. Indoor exercise is not for her. She did get used to the idea of exercising in a gym and loves her aquafit -thanks to the free membership I gave her. But come summertime -its all outdoors, no gym -she has a huge yard so gardening takes over and with a new dog -walking her is her regular daily exercise now.
At least that bike has a nice comfy seat -you could put a TV down there to keep you occupied while using it.


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HOLLYM48 1/26/2013 8:06AM

    I am the type that wants my own home gym because when I get home from work, I don't want to go out again and I would probably waste my membership. So glad that going to a gym works for you but what a great fallback it was to have the beast to work with for a while!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 1/26/2013 7:33AM

    I am a weather wimp as well! We bought a really nice elliptical machine three years ago when my husband wanted to loose weight.

It's great, I like it and yet I still left the house three mornings a week to go to the free gym I had at work at the time. For some reason it was easier to get my stuff, get in the car and go to the gym than it was to walk in the next room and jump on the elliptical.

I need the fresh air to hit me!! Now I like the gym I go to, I'm a people watcher. What a place for people watching!!!

I force myself to the use the elliptical a couple times a week because of the money we spent!

Have a good day with the beast!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/26/2013 7:16AM

    That's 'normal' for fitness machines. I need to use my exercise bike.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/26/2013 7:16AM

    That's 'normal' for fitness machines. I need to use my exercise bike.

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MARYJOANNA 1/26/2013 7:14AM

  Thank goodness you have something to fall back on!

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LEANJEAN6 1/26/2013 7:09AM

    LOL---It made me smile!---Oh--if I only had a gym close to where I live--and it has been minus 40C--too cold to run too far outside--so--its me and the dreadmill---but, it does do the trick----I prefer the outside tho!--enjoyed yer blog--Lynda emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 1/26/2013 6:59AM

    I love the solitude of my workout room! Even so, some pieces sit idle for a while depending on my mood. The one I really neglect is my ST machines - I need a personal trainer to come to the house and PUSH ME! But instead, I picked up a copy of the New Rules of Lifting for Women (recommended by another Spark friend) and I will be coming up with a plan this weekend to use it, and the dumbbells, and the kettle bells and so on and so on!!!

Have fun on the bike, and don't forget to count the calories you burn removing all that dust! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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