Another Chapter in the Treadmill Diaries…

I know, you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat…

If you don’t follow me on Dailymile, you might have no idea what I am talking about, but let me just say…


I have had my share of treadmill drama (from it not working, potentially awkward situations of just one TM in our community gym, not working again and even my ode to the treadmill) but in general, if I had to pick a camp, I am actually in the LOVE side of the equation. Yes, I said, it, I LOVE the treadmill. Obviously not as much as this girl (AMAZING) but it’s definitely an incredible asset to marathon training. Sure, I prefer running outdoors, but for many reasons sometimes a TM run is just necessary (life, schedule, etc) and I truthfully do not mind it.

That is, unless there are one of THESE around:

creepy kid.

Yes, this is an actual photograph of the demonic presence that fixed its laser-gaze upon me for more than three miles on my treadmill run yesterday (okay, well not really but it basically is).

Haha, let me back up…

So, since Thursday I have had this weird cold-ish thing going on but it didn’t really start bothering me until Saturday, when I was scheduled to do my last ‘long’ (7-8 miles) run before next Sunday’s 26.2 – but since I felt really icky, I decided to postpone til Sunday. I slept in, hoping I would miraculously feel amazing, but to no avail.

I felt “fine” but not “fine” enough to hit those miles outdoors (low temps, windy and I really hate bailing on a run) so I reasoned a TM run would work great for this situation. I got my gear ready and headed out midday to our community gym.

Once I arrived there, there was just one other person – a woman, who was working with weights on the other side of the room. No worries. I set up my iPhone to stream Pandora (Ke$ha station) and got to it  at 7.0 MPH.

The miles were rolling pretty smoothly – I just had to stop periodically to hack up some lovely phlegm (nice visual, right?!) The lady had left, too, so it was just me. I was doing a little TM-karaoke…when all of a sudden, a man (with a potbelly, may I add) and his daughter (about 7-ish) walked in.

Now, when people walk in, I usually give a little smile/wave acknowledgement – the dad returned it, but the girl – well, let’s just say her sneer toward me was theatrical. From that point forward, she stomped over to one of the leg weight machines, plopped her behind down and reverted into sulky mode, staring right at me.

Now, I had a few choice thoughts at this point, namely:

  • Seriously, little girl? What’s your deal?
  • If she thinks she is going to get this TM anytime soon, she is WRONG.
  • Is she wearing a down jacket? It’s like 75 degrees in here, that looks uncomfortable

After a few minutes, she broke her judging gaze on me and began climbing all over different pieces of equipment, wich looked dangerous, but her dad didn’t seem to care, so whatever. I kept going…

About 10 minutes later though, apparently she couldn’t handle it anymore and she walked over to the window, sat in the sill, and gazed dramatically out. Her dad walked over and (I’m assuming) asked her what was wrong.

So, she’s crying at this point (in another language, may I add) and pointing toward my direction. Ugh – I look down and see that I am at Mile 4.5 – there is no way this girl is getting this machine from me, seriously!!

Then, her dad walks over and says (surprise surprise), “Excuse me, my daughter would like to know how much longer you will be on the treadmill?”

I said, “about 25 minutes.”

He looks back at his daughter (he is so whipped) then back at me, “thank you.”

After he goes back, she pouts more, but whatever. This little annoyance is not training for a marathon, I am sure of it. So, I turned up the music a few more notches in my headphones and do my best to zone out for a few more miles.

When I take fleeting glances over, I can see that she is now climbing all over the elliptical and getting frustrated her legs are too short. Then, she comes even closer – onto the stationary bike, where she pedals furiously while staring not at me, but through me.


Still, I refuse to be defeated by a tiny person, so I ran on, no breaks for hacking up lungs, no water, nothing. Just running.

At the 59 minute mark, I have completed 7 miles – I decide that this will be my battle for today, and I will gracefully fold.

I step off the machine, clean it up then head into the restroom to wipe off my sweat. Within a minute, she is clomping away on the machine, in her winter clothes.


Aside from the annoyance that I felt that people like her and her dad have probably been responsible for the machine being down time and time again, I just LET IT GO. I got my miles in, and all was good in the world again…this time anyway….

What crazy drama do you deal with when working out?

29 thoughts on “Another Chapter in the Treadmill Diaries…

  1. Good for you for not giving in, and getting your mileage in. One of my biggest peeves at the gym is parents not watching their children… someone is going to get hurt.

  2. Little Girl has serious issues! Good for you for holding your ground, I wouldn’t have stopped either. Also, I can’t believe you love the treadmill. It is my nemesis!

  3. haaaaaaa. I’m dying. 1. That girl sounds like she could me my #2. She’s so shady, and she’s an exper glare-er. (I wouldn’t bring her to the gym, though). 2. We have people who bring their kids into the gym like it’s a daycare. Since their parents plant them on the machines with the TV going, I assume they are just letting them watch cable. 3. I admittedly look at people waiting for the treadmill and judge whether or not I will give up my spot for them based on my need vs my assumption of their need. Is that terrible? For example, there’s one girl that comes in, and casually strolls on the treadmill while staring in the mirror on the right of her. She does the same thing on the elliptical, but sometimes, I guess, she likes the treadmill view. I don’t know. For HER, she does not get the treadmill, sorry. But if someone comes in with a race shirt, or someone I’ve seen actually running, I’ll hand over the ‘mill for them.

    Kids have no business being in the gym, though. That irks me.

    Feel better!!!! Sounds like everyone has the funk 😦

  4. A girl that young on a treadmill is a liability for the gym. In our gym you must be at least 15. You might want to let the gym know… for their sake. It sounds like she has some issues (maybe even a disability)
    On a lighter note, I am reading Charlie and Chocolate factory to my kids right now and this girl sounds like Veruca Salt or Violet Beauregarde… if you’re not careful little girl, the treadmill might swallow you up and spin you around indefinitely.

    • Lisa — our gym has similar age restrictions, but honestly, it is just a small room for the condo and anytime I have ever called anything in, I haven’t had much of a response. I think the language barrier was big (not sure what language she spoke) as well.

      But AHAH I love that last thought about the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, lol!!! great imagery!

  5. I think there are laws against 7-year-olds using treadmills…. lol. I agree with you and would never have backed down either!

  6. The father is irresponsible and kids should not be on the equipment at that age. She sounds like a complete brat to me, and I would have done the same thing….although i would have been tempted to hog the machine a bit longer. PS I am fine with the treadmill too!

  7. My clubhouse treddy is a pos thanks to parents letting their kids use it as a toy. I have had my share of bad parenting issues when I am working out. Like a little kid right behind me with I am holding a 30lb dumbbell overhead.

    • Yeah, our TM is bad enough, doesn’t help when people abuse it! Ahh, sigh…one day I will have my own.

      So scary for kids to be playing around when people are using equipment!

  8. So, there’s this guy at my gym I see EVERY time I’m there. He is odd anyway (wears the same clothes and hat everyday, like…I’m not convinced he washes it everyday) and he’ll use the elliptical for like 30 minutes before running on the treadmill for god knows how long – usually longer than my hour – 1.5 hours at the gym. So he constantly watches what I’m doing on the elliptical if I’m next to him and then when he moves to the treadmill, which is in front of the ellipticals, he’ll turn around constantly – like once every few minutes. It drives me INSANE – so much so that I’ll usually go on the lone, crappy treadmill behind him instead of moving up next to him on the nice treadmills because he’ll just stare the whole time. People at the gym are weird! They need to have gym courtesy classes lol

  9. One of my last TM dramas was watching a dad berate is probably 4 year old son who was working on basketball drills. The kid was actually amazing, hit way more shots than I ever would, but after he missed a few, dad made him run suicides in the gym until he was bawling. It took everything in my power not to call CPS.

    • Hahah, right? Distractions drive me bonkers! That run was definitely a lot more mentally challenging than anything else lol

  10. What a creepy little kid. Our gym has rules about kids on the equipment–no one under 16, though I have seen a kid who looks to be around 12 come down to walk on the treadmill with his mom supervising. I often use one of the 3 at our gym, and I’ve been asked on more than one occasion to get off (i had only been on it for about 20 minutes) so a “real runner” could use it. I think it’s pretty rude. I know I’m not fast, but I have every right to use it too.

    • Ours has “rules” too, but unfortunately, no enforcement.

      SO RUDE re: “real runner” comment! WTF!??! If at any moment, both of your feet are not touching the ground, if even for a nanosecond, you are a runner!!!!!!

  11. As a parent, I can tell you for certain that the girl is too young to be using the treadmill. Also, she’s too young to be hanging out at the gym and climbing on the equipment. I’d suggest asking your condo management to put up more signs about appropriate ages for the equipment — mention liability and insurance, that might get them to act.

    As for the girl’s behavior, she sounds a bit spoiled, so good for you for not caving to her evil glare.

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