Monday, November 26, 2018

Treadmill Rehabilitation Day

In January 2012, I bought a treadmill for the basement because running in the real world is incredibly boring, everyone is watching you, and at some point, you have to run all of the way back home. For over 5 years, the treadmill played a key part in my exercise routine as well as my "watch shows that are good enough to watch while running but not worth devoting precious single-tasking time to enjoying" routine.

After running over 500 miles per year, the treadmill eventually started to decay. The ball bearings in the rear roller wore down and started rattling as I ran, giving off a virtual reality feeling of exercising on a rickety pirate ship. Its unnecessarily loud beeper, which activates whenever you change the speed or incline, or start, stop, or pause, was also a huge detractor from exercising while Maia was directly upstairs sleeping. Because it was harder for us to get Maia to sleep than it was for me to lose weight, I slowly stopped using it. By summer 2018, it was folded up in the corner of the basement destined for the junk hauler.

Recently, I decided that I would give the treadmill one last shot before abandoning it. As all good engineers might do, I started by unscrewing anything that could be unscrewed until I reached the inner sanctum of the circuit board. I located the beeper and unsoldered it from the circuit board, rendering the treadmill immediately mute. Next, I removed 5 years of dust bunnies from the motor and scrubbed down the treads with silicon oil (which is much more expensive than it should be). Finally, I replaced the rear rotor with a $150 part which was still much cheaper than buying a brand new treadmill.

I now have a ninja-silent treadmill that makes no noise other than the panther-like tread of my jogging gait. It is deadly like a Prius, in that it might trip me at 5 miles per hour if I forget that it no longer makes noise. My current plan is to resume treadmilling on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a bonus bout on Sundays if I'm not already booked solid. We shall see how I do!

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