My Treadmill Trauma

A couple of weeks ago I decided to trade in my couch surfing for healthier pursuits and signed up for a 28 week challenge to re-ignite my exercise regime.

It re-ignited alright as every under-utilised and tight muscle screamed and burned in agony – and I hadn’t even finished putting on my training shoes yet.

Day 2 – I’m paralysed! Oh -it just hurts too much to move.  Have the fire gods of hades set up camp in my muscles? When did the toilet get so low and why oh why are there no handles on the walls?!

As I shuffled – very slowly and very carefully – through my day, I reflected on the last time I had felt this way. Six years ago give or take. I was on maternity leave after the birth of my second child and I decided I would – you guessed it – kickstart my exercise regime.

That start was kinder to me – I found a lovely personal trainer who respected my recently baby departed body and we started out slowly and gently. In hindsight, she may have been more concerned with saving her personal liability insurance than my sorry muscles….

Anyway, the start may have been kinder but the continued not so much. A couple of weeks in I was starting to feel confident with the various exercises and lady PT was trusting me to warm up on my own. It turns out her trust was not so much misplaced as horribly lost.

It started out well enough. It was a warm day – about 28 degrees outside – and as I picked up pace on the treadmill I started developing a bit of a thirst. I had always been a bit nervous of the treadmill, but feeling very confident that day,  I decided to emulate the other trainees and step off the treadmill to have a drink. Taking my right foot, I stepped carefully onto the immobile side. I had never quite understood why treadmillers did that funny little lift and jump onto the sides. It seemed a bit over the top and just a little dangerous. Why do that little jump when a careful and measured step would suffice? As my left leg whooshed out from underneath me, I slammed into the moving conveyor with both knees and clung to the side bars for dear life, walking as fast as my knees could take me until my trainer – screaming “Let Go! Let Go! Let Go!” ran over to punch frantically at the buttons which I now couldn’t reach to slow and stop the machine.

I had no knees left – literally scraping the skin to the bone and was left hobbling hunched over for several weeks as they regrew themselves.

I remember thinking at the time – “Thank God for no broken bones”, but maybe in hindsight that would have been a small mercy as my Income Protection policy has a specified injury benefit which pays out for broken bones – no matter how stupidly acquired.

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