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It's Our Turn: Ted is getting on my nerves

A year ago, I affectionately named my brand new treadmill "Ted."

I promised to take long walks with him every day and never abandon him. He was shiny and new and Ted the treadmill had an air of mystery about him - I wanted to get to know him better.

We spent a lot of time together those first couple months. He pushed me to 45-minute workouts at 3.9 miles per hour. I blasted through sweat and calories. Whew... it was great!

I was good on my word right up until last spring.

I'll admit it, I've totally abandoned him.

I have used every excuse to justify the fractured relationship:

• Well, I just started a new job and I'm waaaaay too busy.

• I'm pretty close to my target weight so what's another day of skipping a workout?

• I've lost interest in you, Ted.

• Well, I've gone this long, what's another day?

• I'll skip tonight, but I promise I'll start again tomorrow.

• I'm a Minnesotan; it's my duty to fill out this flannel nightgown.

• That's it, I've totally un-done everything that I've achieved, so what's the point? (Good grief, it's pathetic actually typing out all of my excuses for other people to read.)

Thankfully, my very wise husband hasn't said a word about the idle piece of very expensive exercise equipment.

In the past, I've tried just about every other work out regimen and failed miserably.

I even bought gym memberships and never went.

So, I decided if I had a piece of exercise equipment in my basement, there was no way I could come up with any excuse, whatsoever, not to stay in shape.

So, Ted moved in.

But lately, Ted is getting on my nerves.

How is it that a piece of exercise equipment has that much control over a human being? I can't get Ted off my mind!

Ted the treadmill sits there in my basement all stoic and smarmy. When I walk by, it's like he mocks me, asking, "Soooooo, Amy... been on any walks lately?"

No, Ted, I haven't.

Apparently a big box of guilt is the gift-with-purchase when you buy a new treadmill - something the clerk neglected to mention.

I'm not sure what the future holds for us. Will we make it as a couple?

When I look back on the good times, they were really good - I felt great, I slept better and definitely had more energy. And reflecting on the bad times... well, this break in our relationship isn't good for either of us. I feel crabby, flabby and blah. I can see that Ted feels dejected and rusty.

In the meantime, I truly want to go back to Ted, but I truly hate exercising.

Thus, it's become a love-hate relationship. I love to hate exercise and I hate the idea of ever loving it.

I guess every relationship has its low points and Ted and I have hit bottom.

Now that the newness of our relationship has fizzled, I guess it's up to the two of us to keep things interesting.

I could get off my rear and walk while watching the news.

I could get on the treadmill immediately after I get home from work.

I could (but probably won't) get up earlier and just get exercising over with.

In the end, he's worth a second chance - and I'm fully prepared to give Ted a third chance and a fourth chance and a fifth chance... for better or worse, in sickness and health, I guess.

Dang it, Ted.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133