Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Treadmill

Even I am not old enough to recall the days when prisons had treadmills and those condemned to hard labour were required to walk on the treadmill for hours on end.

But I am old enough to find it hugely amusing that we now stick great big pieces of machinery in our lounges and spend hours walking on them. Usually, in the case of Son-who-watches-films, to the accompaniment of television viewing.

We recently bought one at an auction and the fact that there are so many of them in every auction – virtually brand new and going for an eighth of their shop price - suggests to me that the enthusiasm for using them does not last long. Notice how the arvertising pictures always show a trim young blonde happily enjoying herself on it. I suspect the majority of users are three times the weight and sweating like pigs but that would not be such a good sales pitch! Nevertheless, the treadmill is keeping Junior fit and out of mischief; so long may it continue. Partner-who-loves-tea also said she would use it but I’m not sure two short bursts in the first month count.

As for me, I dislike them intensely. I have to go on one every time I have my heart checked. It’s not the fact that I have to do it until I get my first angina attack that bothers me. It’s the fact that my neuropathy means I can’t feel my feet and have very poor balance. I am therefore forever falling off it! Now that would make a good blog photo! In the meantime, I'll stick to rambling on the Internet or walking down the road to the shops.



  1. I can't see the point either, what's wrong with pavements? If you decide to entertain the world balancing or not on a treadmill can I take the picture please.

  2. I fell for the 'gimmick' and the advertising blurb some years ago. Wow, I can exercise in my own time and in my own home! It still sits very hugely in the spare room, unused, unloved, and useless to boot.
    I just wish someone would take it off my hands, even for free. I have now learned I am not an exercise sort of person, I hated it at school, and age hasn't changed a thing as far as that is concerned.

    Love Granny

  3. Treadmills in prison? Really? I have never heard of that before. I'm also very curious about what's going on in that first picture. You find the most interesting things!

    We have a treadmill, and I admit to walking on it while watching TV. If I find a really good program, I hardly notice that I'm walking at all. Still, I prefer the outdoors (weather permitting, of course).

  4. Treadmills were quite common in British prisons in Victorian times, Mary Ellen. The prisoners had to hold on to a bar and walk on the treads which were on something that resembled a water wheel. (As in the picture - which I have to confess, on reflection, looks rather like a urinal!) The idea was to punish and also to tire them out so they were in no fit state to cause any trouble. The men on the stools are also prisoners but whether they were waiting their turn or were supervising the others I'm not sure.

    As for taking the photo of me on /off a treadmill, Adrian, you'll need a very wide angle lens - I fall a long way!

    I wonder, Granny, if ours will also soon sit there unloved until eventually it goes the same way that the rowing machine, and various other implements of torture went. (I wonder where they did go. I cannot imagine anyone being daft enough to buy them.)

  5. I've never heard of treadmills in prison, either. But, there's one just a/b 5 feet from me that's begging my attention!

    Great post today.


  6. Never knew about treadmills in prison, Sir, so that's some revelation - I know of so many folk who have the 'at home' gyms, gathering dusts and cobwebs...

    We've done the exercise bike thing, tho', definitely!


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