Tread on me
I can still recall that palpable excitement when the big clumsy UPS truck rocked up my driveway that cold February morning (yes winters were once cold). Two weeks had passed since I ordered a new state of the art treadmill on supermegatechtreadmill.com and now I was attacking the huge brown box with scissors and knives. I spent half the night assembing all the pieces and at last turned it on in the semi-darkness. The lights came to life blinking and emiting high tech sound effects as I ran my hand over the plastic like a The Price Is Right model might.
The second half of the night was spent reading the manual in 7 languages by the soft bedside lamplight.
By the time morning finally arrived I was more than ready to get started.
My favorite feature was definitely the pre-set program that the machine sets for you that simulates real life situations. After mastering the more tame golf course programs I started checking out the really advanced ones. Clicking down one after another Mt. Everest...New York Marathon...Running with the Bulls at Pamplona...and other enticing programs one suddenly jumped out at me. There in blinking green LED was Davids Day.
Naturally curiosity got the best of me and I stepped on and pressed start.
Slowly it started to move step..step...shuffle...downstairs...quicker....walk to shul...sittng...walking...running to catch.....swaying in train....walking 2 blocks...climbing a flight or two...down again...up...walking to lunch...back up...back down hall.....pace a little...2 blocks...train sway...run....walk up 3 steps....sit....back out to shul...back home....until it finally slowed to a halt.
This was incredible, my entire day was pre-programmed.
And so it was day after day I’d hop on and be propelled through the motions.
Until one day there I was on the train platform when an extraordinarily beautiful voice washed over me singing a hauntingly beautiful song. I was mesmerized, but that didn’t stop the V Train from rumbling through the tunnel. And the treadmill automatically propelled me forward.
But I didn’t want to go and started frantically searching for some sort of STOP button but could not find any. As the perplexed passengers watched me I noticed for the first time that I’m not the only one with this nifty gagdet.
Every other person seemed to be glued to their treadmills like zombies.
That ethereal voice was fading and fading when I reached down, ripped out the power chord and came to a grinding halt as the doors to the train closed and the pack stared out the window at me with a look of indifference and hatred.
The train rumbled out with a fury and I was left all alone in the silence. I followed my ears back to the voice, the music and lost myself in the moment as a homeless man curiously checked out my discarded treadmill in the background.