Sunday, March 23, 2008

Treadmillers No More

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

The End of an Era

When I glance at the tagline of this blog, I wonder if I ought to write this entry....Since it made me re-live other experiences that do qualify as worth re-living through writing about them, I'll go ahead....

First thing this morning, Pat and I did what we have been planning to do for a couple of years:

We, ourselves, lifted our sickly heavy treadmill out of our music-room, through the patio door across a bit of the backyard and up the side-yard, out to the edge of the curb for bulky-waste pickup on Monday. I kept looking at it out of the upstairs window, where I was working, and now, am blogging.

"Pat, if we tried lifting it any later than this year, probably, we'd not have had the physical strength to do it," I said upon our return from our walk up to Valley Road. Ironically, Valley Road is up two huge hills from where we live; Montclair is in the foothills of the Watchung Mountains.

Pat agreed. A couple of years ago, when we stopped using it, I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavy for a long time; I had wrecked my neck during a business trip in China and needed physical therapy for months as a result. At physical therapy, Amelia told me that the pounding I did by running, and even walking, on the treadmill was no good for my neck. I switched to swimming.

We felt liberated by having opened up the space of that room. We actually hosted family Passover seders in that room twice, placing the table in front of the immovable treadmill; ha! it wasn't immovable once we were ready to move it out of the house.

One Great Deal and One Bad One at the Chanukah Auction

Probably eight years ago (it was the 925 model -- no longer even featured on the web site), Pat and I went to our synagogue's Chanukah auction. We were the highest bidders on the treadmill. Another couple of women had had it in their Manhattan apartment and had decided it was too big for where they lived, and so they donated it to the shul.

Living in the suburbs, it fit less dominantly into one of the rooms of our house. Still, in the past year and a half, it became no more than the rack, where we dried our towels after swimming, before throwing them in the laundry. That was our dilemma now -- where to dry the towels.

At the same auction, Pat bid on an item that proved her love for me definitively. One of the congregants at the time was a well-known literary agent. The agent donated an offer to read a manuscript of any kind, of up to 300 pages, and to provide feedback on it. Pat out-bid everyone and won it for me.

The agent did not keep the commitment. Even our rabbi contacted the agent ultimately, to no avail. The agent agreed when the rabbi called and then ignored it further. I had just finished a coming-of-age memoir and was excited to have it read by the agent, but God had other plans.

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