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Never buy an exercise machine

September 18th, 2004 · 3 Comments

When we moved to the island, I realized I needed a new way to exercise. Ted’s schedule changed so I wasn’t able to go for a walk or run outside before he left for work. I was pregnant and desperate. In this condition, I have made a few decisions that have impacted our lives…

At Sears, I picked out a simple treadmill and paid for a three year warranty on it. I figured that if I could get three years of use out of it, I’d be grateful. In my mind lurked the fear that it would break and then I’d be stuck with a huge piece of trash. What would I do with it then?! I had dreaded and dragged my feet about purchasing an exercise machine.

But I never had a problem with the treadmill although I started using it less once Ted began working from home. If I could choose, I’d rather be outside than inside. On the treadmill I feel a bit like a hamster in a cage: moving but going nowhere. But it was a great way to get exercise on a day when Ted had to take the boat early into the city.

After three years of the maintenance contract, I decided not to extend it. I was only using the treadmill if there was severe weather or Ted was traveling. I had never had a problem with it anyway.

A few uses later, when I tried to turn it on one morning, suddenly I heard a snap. The motor had broken. When I called the repair shop, they estimated it would cost around $100 to fix it. Considering that the treadmill once cost $500 or so new, it was a small percentage to pay. But given that I wasn’t using it often anyway, I didn’t think it was worth the investment.

I asked the island’s Rotary Auction, but they didn’t want it. They told me that they have brand new functioning exercise machines that are left over at the end of the day.

I put an ad in the paper: no one in the county wanted a free broken treadmill. After making numerous phone calls this summer, today I paid a trash hauling service $42 to take it to the dump. The man and his son pulled up in an enormous truck with a trailer, a hot tub perched across the back and covered with netting. For them, this was a small pick-up. But for us, it was taking up a large portion of our garage storage space. Not to mention the space in my mind that this project was beginning to claim.

My fear came true. So the moral of the story for me is: Never buy an exercise machine. If I ever think I have to have one again, I will get one for free at the end of the Rotary Auction rummage sale!

Tags: health

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul // Sep 18, 2004 at 8:05 am

    http://www.freecycle.org: you very well might have gotten rid of the old one and/or a new (to you) one.

  • 2 Julie // Sep 19, 2004 at 12:47 am

    Good point, Paul, but I am still a bit skeptical that anyone would have wanted it. I’ll have to try that next time…

  • 3 Patricia Taylor // Oct 1, 2004 at 8:13 am

    A confession: I bought an “Ab Rocker” through a TV ad in a moment of weakness, well, silliness, or possibly, insanity. I never even figured out how to use it, and how could I have thought rocking would really tighten my abdominal muscles in the first place? I think it cost about $150. It sat in the closet for about a year. One day, I stuck it in the car, in its original box, secretly stole away to the shopping mall, and left it in a cart in the parking lot. I hope someone is happily rocking away on it, as I have my closet back! Don’t tell anyone! Shhhhh……