A gym machine's disrepair may be just the break we need.

Running is my thing. I really don’t relish weight training. But it’s part of the deal. So I mix some circuits and weight stations into my weekly efforts.

Experienced marathoners love to crow about the importance of building strength and endurance. So I suppose pumping some iron (Read: “Lifting heavy stuff”) is sort of inescapable.

I’m not building a beach body or anything like that. But I am headed for my first full marathon in a few months, as well as several more half marathons in the coming weeks. So I trot off to the gym to crank out some reps on the iron beasts.

Today I caught a break.

Our gym has the regular weight area with tons of stations for hefting and pressing and huffing and puffing. But I get bored easily with the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 and so on. And I’m a little leery of dropping a barbell or kettle ball on my own foot.

Besides, I am a few years older than most of the folks that hang out there. And I have a lot less ink. (OK, none.)

Enter Plan B.

Fortunately, the same gym has an indoor track with smaller weight training stations. I go and run a couple of miles and then loop around again and again, stopping at a new weightlifting spot each time. By the time I complete the circuit, I have done enough chest presses, leg lifts, leg presses, pull ups, pull-downs, push-downs, and tummy crunches to choke a horse.

(Stop: Why would anyone wanna choke a horse, anyway?)

But you get the point.

In the process, I have certain stops I almost enjoy and others not-so-much. There’s one I honestly hate. And no, it’s not the calf-crunch spot, where I actually cracked a couple of ribs last fall, rolling off slightly askew at the finish. (Yup. That hurt. And the sound effects were chilling, at least to me.)

This other strength training machine is worse. I hate it.

Yea, I know. We used to teach our kids that “hate” is a bad word. But sometimes a four-letter word is just the ticket. Like for this horrid piece of gym equipment. “It’s my least favorite” just doesn’t do the trick.

But, wonder of wonders! Today this beast is broken!


OK, maybe it’s not exactly a miracle. But can we call it serendipitous?

At least for one day, the dreaded machine’s brokenness was just the break I needed. So I skipped that station and did two sets of reps on the leg-lift torture stop instead.

The sign says the hated machine will be back soon. No rush, guys.

Runderdog/LAN photo
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