Have you already seen this video? It's marginally impressive if you're not easily impressed; I, on the other hand, felt my brain explode when I saw this. Something that not a lot of people know about me is that I have a mild fear of treadmills. This wasn't always the case.
Another thing about me, that I'm sure I'm not alone on, is I'm not much of a runner. In fact, I am not a runner at all and I don't even like it but sometimes I feel a burst of energy that drives me to get on a treadmill and push the up arrow on the dashboard until my feet are moving faster than they are accustomed to.
This was one of those days. I was in the cardio area along with a handful of others, running an average speed while the TVs above flickered with Winter Olympic events. The one right above me was showing the snowboard competition.
I've always had a thing for cute snowboarder dudes, especially in those days so it was no surprise that I got fairly enthralled in watching them swoop in and out and around those snowy tunnels (what are they called??). Now, if I remember correctly, I didn't take my eyes off the TV when I went to take a swig of water from my purple water bottle that didn't have an attached lid: so bottle in my left hand, lid in the right.
I completely forgot where I was and that I was running. On a treadmill.
My feet simply stopped moving.
What happened next is a bit of a blur but I think as I felt my feet slip away from under me I thought I could simply catch my balance by grabbing at the handrails. Grabbing them I fell onto my knees still believing I could save myself.
I couldn't save myself.
The treadmill ejected me off so swiftly that I landed on my right side about four feet behind it. I don't quite remember getting up because I was in total shock, but I must have limped straight to the bathroom because the next thing I do recall is sitting on the counter to catch my breath and gather my bearings. My knees were black from the 'tread-burn' and grapefruit-sized from the fall. I also noticed that I was still holding my water bottle in my left hand. Of course, the logical thing to do was to go right back out there and look for the lid that got lost in battle. How could I leave a wounded soldier behind?
Still in complete and utter shock, I saw that I had spilled the entire contents of my water bottle on the floor around the treadmill. There was water everywhere! And please don't forget that there were at least five or six people there who witnessed the whole thing. One kind older lady seemed to know exactly what I was looking for, pointed to the offending treadmill and quietly said, 'I think it fell underneath.'
I may have smiled, said thanks and walked away. Except I didn't walk away. I just hopped over to the mats on the floor in the cardio room (!!!) to do some sit-ups because that is what anyone would do who just embarrassed themselves in a way that would send them spiralling into a deep depression. I remember putting my feet up on the wall, knees bent and feeling the deep, painful throb of injury but continuing to finish my workout. What in the fuck, right?
The craziest part of this whole story is that not a single person in that room even flinched. Nothing. No movement, no giggle, no 'are you ok', nada. It was as if they were so involved in the Olympics on TV (who can blame them?) that they didn't notice the young woman flailing around on the treadmill, manically throwing water around the room and being blasted off the treadmill. Guys! I was in the FRONT of the room! Everyone was either beside me or behind me. Nobody missed the show. All I got was 'I think it fell underneath.'
Of course, I had to work at the bar that night so the first thing I did was tell my boss the most hilarious thing that happened to me that day. We roared in laughter and went on with our night.
I never forget a face (ever) and a few hours later, I see her, the one other young woman who was in the room when I took the mighty fall. She was sitting in my section, still acting oblivious to what she had seen.
This story still makes me laugh out loud. I was doing just that even as I wrote this. There is little more in life that is more humbling than falling on a treadmill. And undoubtedly, little more that offers itself up as one of the funniest stories I have to tell.
Here is a video compilation of some brilliant treadmill fails. Some might say that you shouldn't laugh at such things but being a veteran of such hilarious tragedy, I say laugh away! It's fucking hilarious.
Happy Thursday y'all!