by Pettus Read
It's time for a change! At least that seems to be the verbiage that most of our candidates for president of these United States wants to use every time they find an open mic and someone to listen to their stump presentations. The word change may have been used more often in the recent presidential debates than the words me, I, and myself. Change has even been discussed more than the candidates' qualifications for the job, which is still a pretty big question for most of America's public.
Well, I tried change once and really didn't like it. In fact, it was only at the beginning of this year I decided to change for the better and it liked to have killed me. My new life change began with a visit to the doctor and almost ended with another visit to the doctor to fix what I was trying to change.
Back in the fall I had the usual doctor checkup and his suggestion was to lose a few pounds and get some exercise. The weight he wanted me to lose represented a government issue of a barrel of pork and a small child. It seems I have been spending too much time with the chicken and dumplings special at a local restaurant and need to cut back on the sweet tea as well.
I took most of his advice and lost several pounds, but the exercise has been a tough one to accomplish. Plus, the idea of walking somewhere without actually having a reason to be going there is something I am trying to overcome. This walking business is great if you live in town or in a subdivision with lots of blacktop and no traffic. But, I live 15 miles from the city on a farm fronted by a rural road where the traffic has increased so much from people moving from town to subdivisions so they can enjoy the "good life" that it is almost impossible to take a daily walk. I spend most of my time jumping in the ditch dodging folks in SUVs who think because they moved to the country they should drive like a NASCAR racer.
I gave up trying to walk on the roadway and retreated to my driveway. Going in circles didn't work either. I started to develop one leg more than the other from always going to the left.
The next possibility was to hook up with a health club. That didn't work. They were all located 15 miles from the house and I really don't enjoy falling off exercise equipment in front of perfect strangers.
Then I came up with the idea of buying my own treadmill. Walking when I want to, come rain or shine, in the privacy of my home seemed to appeal to me. Plus, I'm the only one sweating on the handlebars and no one is around to place judgment on how fast I go or at what percentage I have the incline set. Three miles per hour and a .5 percent incline can work over a period of time.
After checking out several models, I chose the T5000 Walking Like The Wind model. The salesman told me it was made for us "athletic" types and it was real easy to assemble. After I paid for it, he brought it out to my truck in a box that weighed over 200 pounds and was the size of a coffin. That should have been my first sign that this thing could kill me.
I took it home and unloaded it in the garage. After a week I got up enough courage to assemble my T5000. Inside the box were enough parts to build an Edsel automobile and a set of instructions that required aeronautical training. But, I did get it put together and, not to brag, did a pretty good job with only one part left over.
One problem. It was too large and heavy to go through the door from the garage. So, in a cold winter rain I pushed it around the house to the back porch, and with the help of my very strong son, I moved it into the house. During the move I pulled every muscle I had and many I didn't even know I had in the first place. It took me a week to get to the point of being able to "walk like the wind" on my T5000. I've had this thing for a month and I still don't walk like the wind. My stride is more like strolling during a muggy day.
The T5000 does have a computer in it that keeps up with how well I'm doing and even a place for an MP3 player. I don't have an MP3 player and don't even know what MP3 stands for, but if I ever get one, I have a place to plug it in.
Change is just around the corner for me and I have had no help doing it from any of the presidential candidates. But, if I see one of them "walking like the wind" on a T5000, they have my vote.