Thursday, January 8, 2009

Treadmill Tales: Climbing the Stairway to Infinity

Contrary to my reputation, I do exercise and on purpose. I've owned a treadmill for five years, and wear a pedometer constantly as my self-imposed requirement to walk 10,000 steps (read: 4 miles) a day.

Not to tick you off or anything, but I conquered the challenge of walking while I watch TiVoed episodes of Scrapbook Memories, NYPD Blue reruns, Desperate Housewives and All My Children after the first 6 months. To stay interested that first year, I added my point total, divided it into total miles and figured out I had walked from Indianapolis to Hollywood, Florida.

That didn't exactly trip my trigger. It’s quicker to drive.

Here we go again

Year two, I started a Pedometer Hall of Fame, wherein I recorded my top 10 list of most steps in one day. Eventually, all of my entries were in the 20,000 range, which requires the kind of time and opportunities you only find on vacation (it’s not coincidence the chart today has locations like Washington, D.C., London, Dublin, Buenos Aires). Those days are rare and I needed a challenge on, for example, Tuesday, February 17 as well.

Then I found out about the President's Challenge –- that organization of dweebs that came into our schools and tortured us to do sit-ups and run obstacle courses in the 1970s. Only now those geeks have decided that any activity that moves your butt away from the couch equals exercise, and they have an online program to incentivize you. Even housework counts as a category where you can earn points toward bronze, silver and gold medals.

A gold medal. Now we’re talking.

It took nearly three years and four pairs of Reeboks to reach the summit, but I finally saw the magic 160,000 appear on the screen just before the holidays. That’s when I learned those chumps at the Challenge make you buy your own medal. Get outta here -- all that sweat and they think I’m forking over $7 plus shipping?

I have a better idea of what I can do with that fork.

But that’s not even the real insult. Because suddenly, automatically, audaciously they started pushing me toward the next level: a platinum award bestowed for racking up one million points. Nowhere on the website does it explain this option. It doesn’t say what the reward is, and I'm sure it wouldn't be encouraging to tell me how much that costs. I'll probably have to write my own blog post to tout my win. But, sucker that I am for finishing what I started, I have 824,925 points, or 83 percent of the distance, to go.

I should reach that by the time One Million B.C. rolls back around. And, I suspect, Erica Kane will still be up to her same tricks when it happens.


CW Merv said...

Well, you could always pull a Forrest Gump and just run for five years straight. That should earn you that Platinum award. I'll even drop by to see you each time you're in the Midwest.

Oh, and I'm probably stupid for asking this, but who is Erica Kane?

Julie Sturgeon said...

Who is Erica Kane? She's the queen of the daytime soaps, the character on All My Children who has been married like 11 times and slept with everyone in pants who moves into the fictional Pine Valley. She's vain, childish and neurotic.

Linnao said...

Love your writing! Great post, and go Forrest! (I really like how CW brought him up)

Denise said...

Good luck! And I'm sure you're right about Erica. Do you think she's really a human? LOL

Denise said...

To respond to your post on my blog...I have to agree!! There has to be some place better than Indiana in the winter!!

Julie Sturgeon said...

I think Susan Lucci (aka Erica Kane) is being held together by hair extensions and Botox.