Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Safety Tip

I fell off the treadmill at the Y this evening, and I came away with two skinned knees and a little bit of wisdom. I was jogging with my iPod going, the little buds in my ears, listening to my heavy-duty workout music (which is the soundtrack to the movie Gladiator. It's duly motivating, and I'm all psyched up to wrestle a tiger except that my legs are about to burn off after three minutes of jogging), and suddenly my iPod just went flying across the gym. I guess I wasn't keeping up with the conveyer belt enough, but normally the iPod yanks the buds out of my ears instead of the other way around. I could be frozen in cryogenic suspension and those things would slip out of my ears.

But not this time. The iPod went one way, the earbuds went another, and I went a third way — down. Apparently none of the engineers who designed the treadmill foresaw the possibility of someone falling on the damn thing, so there's no safety cutoff switch. I'm just on my knees, struggling to pull myself up with the conveyer belt constantly slipping under me, and — this is the awesome part that made this whole shit worthwhile — the lady on the treadmill next to me is freaking out, screaming, "Push stop! Push stop!" Really, lady? You mean, there's a way to turn this monster off? Why didn't anyone tell me that?! You think maybe you could hit that button for me, seeing as how you're not being dragged away by a psychotic machine?

So no one hit the stop button — or I might have slammed my fist into the stop button, but the treadmill just kept on going anyway — and this only went on for fifteen seconds at most before I figured out the smart thing to do. I resigned myself to the treadmill and took a short trip down and off its crazy ass. Not hurt at all. In fact, my only injuries were from when I was fighting with the thing.

So there's a lesson for all of you: make sure you've got a spotter who'll actually shut down the machine if you get in trouble.