how to look really cool, chadfox style
Today was supposed to be an easy day at the gym, and I was actually looking forward to it. All I had to do was cardio, and I elected to simply run on the treadmill for a half hour on the random hill setting at a difficult level. To challenge myself further, I decided to make it a San Francisco experience and set the speed to 9 miles per hour, which happens to be almost the same speed the cable cars travel (9.5 MPH). So off I embarked on my ambitious treadmill run at a speed I normally don't run...generally I trod along at around 7 MPH.
I've mentioned before my gym used to be a movie theater. The treadmill I like to use is located in what used to be the upper balcony, so it has a commanding view of the gym and the movie screen...the perfect place to do cardio and watch movies at the same time (and if you have your walkman tuned to 90.3 FM you can even listen to the soundtrack in stereo). Today, they were showing Superman (the one from 1978 with Christopher Reeve), a movie I actually like. So there I was, listening to Cast Your Fate to the Wind by Sounds Orchestral (one of my all-time favorite tunes), humming along with the melody, sprinting, timing my breathing, sweating, getting an endorphin rush, and watching the movie...totally multitasking. I didn't notice how engrossed I was getting in the movie, which only means one thing...I stopped paying attention to what I was doing.
That, my friends, is not a very bright thing to do while sprinting on a rubber conveyor belt at almost 10 miles an hour.
The movie came to the scene where Lois Lane is driving along that dusty desert road in her red 1971 Ford LTD and runs out of gas, setting off the bright-red "LOW FUEL" light on the dashboard. If you are a normal person, you see that, acknowledge it, and continue watching the movie. I, on the other hand, don't think like a normal person. My train of thought went something like this:
"Man, that guy in front of me on that stairmaster thingie has a nice butt. Look at that butt! Damn! Wait, the '71 LTD didn't have a low-fuel light, almost no cars did back then. Maybe it was an option on a Lincoln Continental or maybe even a Galaxie 500 but definitely not the LTD. Back then you either paid attention to the fuel gauge or you were fucked. And when it got dark you turned on the headlights, none of this stupid automatic shit like they have now. Of course, you'd leave them on and your battery was dea- wait, mom had a '74 LTD Country Squire, did that have a low-fuel light? Fuck no, I had to push that fucker once when mom ran out of gas. At least she let me ride on the back bumper down the hill. No wait, that happened in the Mustang. I think it just had a low oil pressure light next to the catalytic converter failure light. Wait...that was the Plymouth Fury. Why does that chick have to pick out her cameltoe in the middle of the room? Damn that Plymouth smelled bad, especially when mom started it. It had a round speedometer instead of the sliderule one in the LTD. Wow, that dude has a nice butt too. The Mustang had a round speedometer. Low fuel light...that was total bullshit. They totally made that fuel gauge light up for the movie. Why do they have to do that? Those didn't come along until the 80's, and even then only in nicer cars. Was the closeup of the fuel gauge on 'empty' not good enough? Those fucking fucks. Who are they trying to kid?"
While letting my mind wander like that (and watching poor Lois get swallowed up by the San Andreas Fault) I didn't notice myself drifting further and further to the right on the damn treadmill. Finally, everything started happening very fast, but in slow motion.
My right foot landed on the plastic panel next to the moving conveyer belt. This only means one thing: the right side of my right foot was stationary. The left side of my right foot was still moving at 9 MPH. You don't have to be a physics whiz to figure out what happened next. My right foot flipped around and slammed into my left foot, effectively tripping myself. Both feet flew out from under me at 9 miles per hour. It happened so quickly, I was still thinking about 1970's automobiles as these events unfolded. As I came tumbling down, still clutching my little MP3 player that continued to fill my head with a piano riff, my head smashed into the little bar you're supposed to hold to get your heart rate. This quickly replaced all thoughts of my mom's old cars with, "Damn, this sucks, and it's gonna hurt like hell." I saw the conveyor belt, still moving at full speed, rushing up to meet me. The last thought I had before landing was:
"Jane, stop this crazy thing!"
There was a loud thud, and my headphones were ripped from my ears. My MP3 player went flying in one direction, its batteries in another, and the battery cover in yet another. Unfortunately, the whole debacle was far from over.
Since it was still moving at 9 MPH, and I weigh 175 pounds (as of today), a considerable amount of skin was instantly stripped off my hands and right knee as my body quickly accelerated to match the speed of the treadmill (which is actually quite agonizing if you've never experienced it). I was then jettisoned backwards, flying about 4 feet through the air and crashing into a magazine rack directly behind the machine. Now, it wouldn't have been so bad had I just hit the wall, resulting in maybe a muffled thud and a few bones cracking. However, that's not how things work out for me. Oh, no. I just HAD to be flung into that goddamn magazine rack, which just HAD to collapse while making this godawful racket, and send magazines flying everywhere (and getting hit in the face by a yoga journal), thus drawing a maximum amount of attention to this idiot homogay from Cleveland who can't seem to figure out how to use a fucking treadmill.
I couldn't believe what had just happened.
Of course, the boy with the hot ass jumped off his machine and ran over, and another really hot guy's face appeared over a railing. "Dude, are you okay?" they both asked in unison.
"Um, I think so," I groaned, as the stinging pain in my knee and hands started to blossom, and my head started throbbing. I looked up at them and asked, "There's no way for me to look cool right now, is there?"
"Uh, no bro." Mr. Hot Ass said, laughing. "Not at all."
"That's what I was afraid of," I croaked, rubbing my head.
I got up and brushed myself off as they helped me right the rack and replace the magazines. They went back to their workouts, and I faced the beast who had thrown me across the room. It was flashing a message that said, "TO RESUME HIT START." I wrapped my bleeding left hand with a tissue (at this point it felt like it was on fire), punched the "start" button with my slightly less injured right hand, and started limping my way back up to a painful, plodding jog.
I also adjusted the speed to 6 MPH for the rest of the workout and decided to quit trying to be a superhero.
Christopher Reeve did a much better job.