Sunday, June 15, 2014

An owner's manual? Never heard of it.

“I'm not sure you should get that one,” my wife said while we were looking at previously enjoyed (see second hand) treadmills at a local store that always seems to have such items.
I am not sure where they get them from, but every time I go in, there are at least three used treadmills sitting in the fitness section.
All have been 'gently' used – likely as a clothes rack or an item in the basement that conveniently takes up space.
They are in really good shape and I have purchased items from this store in the past with good results so I saw no reason why I should not replace my dead treadmill with one of these barely used ones.
Yes, I actually use my treadmill for more than a decoration or a handy dust-collecting devise.
The last one I had was a nice one, but as I was jogging along one day there was a puff of smoke and the jogging belt stopped moving.
I am not a treadmill expert, but even I know a puff of smoke is a bad thing.
It was an older treadmill, but a high-quality one so I called an expert treadmill repair guy, told him about the puff of smoke and he gave me his expert diagnosis: something broke.
Wow, thanks for the insight, Slick. 
He did manage to narrow it down to a most likely cause and said he would call me back with a repair estimate.
When he called back, he told how much the offending part would be and went into a rather lengthy explanation of how the piece of electronics burned out in the first place.
He went on about the walking board, the belt and a few other things, but by then my ADD brain had wondered off and I came back only when he said the cost to fix it - $800.
Yikers, that was double what I paid for it in the first place. I already had almost four years worth of exercise out of it, and for a second-hand treadmill I thought that was pretty good, so I decided to see if I could find another one for less than it would cost to repair this one.
That led the conversation I had with my wife in the store with the used fitness gear.
She didn't think I should buy it because it did not come with an instruction manual.
A what? Oh, right, that's one of those little books men never read on how to operate a piece of equipment.
This was not a nuclear-powered submarine or a high-tech piece of medical equipment – it was a treadmill.
You push the on button, run until you are tired, push the off button and then pat yourself on the back for exercising when you would much rather have been sitting in front of the TV with a beverage.
Ironically, I did not purchase that particular treadmill. Not because it did not have an instruction manual, but because the one next to it was a better deal.
The little woman was happy because this one came with an instruction manual which I am sure is chock full of all sorts of helpful information. And if I ever get around to reading it, I bet I will be correct.
Being a man I decided to live dangerously and try operating the machinery without consulting the manual.
Let's see – on button, check. Off button, check. The little safety thing that attaches to you and turns the machine off that no one uses, check. Increase/decrease speed button – got it. Increase/decrease incline controls – yup.
I think I got this beast figured out. I have been using the 'new' treadmill for a while now without any serious harm or danger to myself or those around me.
Maybe the next piece of equipment I buy I will actually read the operators manual – but I think we all know the answer to that.

copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh

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