Friday, 28 September 2012

Fat Woman and the sound of pounding

Fat Woman went to warm up before a training session. Fat Woman is a naturally lazy person and lives by the belief that if a thing is worth doing twice then it's worth automating. Sadly, Fat Woman has not yet found any way to automate her gym warm up. Fat Woman has, however, worked out how to get her heart rate to the required level in under two minutes. Fat Woman does this by running up the stairs to the gym and then cycling madly on a lowish resistance for ninety seconds. This method has been particularly useful when Fat Woman has been chatting to Swimming Coach for longer than she should have done and wants to avoid being bawled out by Personal Trainer.

Unfortunately, Fat Woman's time-saving routine has been thwarted by Personal Trainer's new gym. This gym is all on one level, so there are no stairs. There are just three upright stationary bicycles, compared to the sixteen at Fat Woman's gym. Today Fat Woman found that one bicycle was (still) out of order and the other two were being used. Fat Woman must have been feeling particular masochistic because instead of taking a reclining cycle she voluntarily got on a treadmill.

Fat Woman hates the treadmill. Fat Woman knows that treadmills were used in prisons both as a punishment and as a tool to demoralise prisoners. Fat Woman understands how the prisoners felt as they laboured away, achieving nothing and going nowhere. Personal Trainer says it is not a treadmill, it is a running machine. Fat Woman doesn't think that makes any part of the exercise any better especially as she can't run anyway.

Part of the reason Fat Woman hates the treadmill is that she is so heavy, therefore she is very slow. When Personal Trainer set Fat Woman a target of 5km walking a week Fat Woman nearly died of boredom. Buying the Endomundo tracker for her phone bailed Fat Woman from her treadmill sentence that time, but obviously isn't much use for a warm up. Fat Woman would love to be able to run, but as her most recent efforts ended in compressed cartilige of the knees, she is saving what passes for her running for sports like netball. However, Fat Woman knows that walking is an important part of functional fitness, blah, blah, blah, yawn! so she got on the treadmill, set the elevation to 2.5% and started walking at 5kmph (3.1mph).

Fat Woman does a very fast walk now, and makes good use of the crossover point of fast walking and slow running. Fat Woman feels the whole process is a massively inefficient use of energy, and feels a little bit like a charging cow, but just for the one day she was going with it.

Fat Woman didn't feel that 5kmph was doing her much good so she upped the speed  6.5kmph and was considering going for 7kmph when she realised that the sound of her feet striking the treadmill was not the usual slightly noisy drumming. Fat Woman's feet were making  the kind of loud, echoing thump made by giants walking over a bridge or by large, heavy metal boots (see this clip from Aliens and imagine that going at 150 beats per minute).

 Fat Woman wasn't yelling "Get away from her, you bitch!", nor did she have cool futuristic technology to play with, but the slamming down of the hefty foot noise is pretty spot on. For a moment Fat Woman thought pehaps she was in a live action cartoon and someone was helpfully illustrating where people should laugh at her efforts by providing suitably humourous heavy-person-walks noises.

Fat Woman used the emergency stop button. It was worth slamming to a halt in order to instantly stop sounding like a charging rhino on a wooden bridge.

Apparently there is one treadmill which is very noisy. Fat Woman is glad to have found out which treadmill that is so she will never, ever have to use it again.

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