T is for Treadmill

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This is how my treadmill looked for 2 weeks.  It felt much longer!

As I write this on Friday the 15th the treadmill saga has not ended, but soon, very soon, I will know the final outcome.

I have gotten into the habit of doing most of my computer work while walking on the treadmill. It was a devastating blow when right in the middle of the A to Z Challenge the walking belt developed a crease and every time the belt went around it made a thwumping noise.

So I looked up treadmill repair and talked to a very nice woman who did some research and said they would only replace the belt if they could replace the deck too. The belt was available but not the deck. The deck was no longer made and the deck wasn’t flippable. Bummer.

My next step was to look for a new to me treadmill on Craigslist.  I found one that looked decent, a good price and would work with my Surfshelf . But someone else was coming to look at it already and they ended up buying it. Nothing else on Craigslist looked suitable or in my price range.

Back to the repair option. I did some more looking around and decided maybe I could replace the belt myself. First I decided to remove the current belt to see what the deck looked like and to make sure I could actually do this.

My treadmill is around fifteen years old but it has been gently used. I am the original owner, it has only been used by me and only for walking. I have never done any type of maintenance on it because it has always worked fine. Before moving to the desert most of my walking was done outdoors, I just used the treadmill during really bad weather.

I got the belt off pretty easily, my husband only had to help with a few super tight screws. The deck looked fine to me. Smooth, no cracks or bowing. I decided it was worth the $100 to try and replace the belt. I ordered one through Amazon and impatiently waited for it to be delivered.

Once the belt arrived it took maybe forty minutes to get it on and get all the rest of the pieces reinstalled. There was only one problem. When I actually stood on the treadmill the belt wouldn’t move. It moved fine when it was just switched on so it wasn’t the motor. With the treadmill belt I received two tubes of treadmill lube. Apparently one is supposed to lube the deck every so often. I had NEVER in fifteen years done this. So I put the lube on and spend several hours trying to get the tension on the belt right to no avail. Now what?

I call a second treadmill repair place and “confess” as to what I had done. Now I wait for the repair guy (on Saturday the 16th) and hope it really is just a matter of getting the tension correct.

I am prepared for the worst but hopeful for the best.

Two Hours Later (on Saturday)

There has been no feeling of joy. No excitement at the thought of getting back to my old routine. The treadmill guy is an hour late. When I call him I get “What time was I supposed to be there? Wow, I really am running late.” He is to call next week and schedule a new time. The treadmill saga is turning into the treadmill debacle.

The Happy Ending

By Wednesday morning still no word from the treadmill guy.  I send an e-mail and he says he’ll be here later today or Thursday.  Late Wednesday afternoon he says he is on his way. Turns out to be a very nice guy.  He is the owner of his own independent business.  I am happy to do business with an independent owner.  And he was very good at what he does.  As I type this I am once again walking on my treadmill!!!  Turns out I missed a guide underneath that the belt needed to go under (or maybe it was over?).  Other than that I did everything right. Once the belt was under (over?) the guide the tension was easy to fix.  While he was here he also tightened up the belt on the motor which he said was a little loose.  And he tightened the handle on my front storm door on his way out.  (It fell off just before he came and I couldn’t find the allen wrench.) If you need exercise equipment repair or maintenance I can highly recommend Tommy G Fitness here in Tucson.

Can I tell you how happy I am?  Now I can spend more time reading A to Z blogs!

 

Treadmill computer desk

 

Here is my treadmill desk before the makeover:

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I don’t know why it looks so tilty, it never felt tilted.

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A few years ago I created this sort of treadmill desk and I love it. I found the idea on the internet and adapted a few different designs together to fit my treadmill. I originally tried using just the SurfShelf but it was too high for me to type comfortably .  So I bought a piece of  styrofoam insulation board and cut it into pieces with a box cutter.   I stacked them up, added 2 door stops to compensate for the slope of the treadmill handles and that made the ‘desk’ portion for my wireless keyboard and mouse.

I use it quite a bit. There is no guilt browsing blog sites or Pinterest when you are also getting your ten thousand steps a day in.   I also find it helpful sometimes to walk while I am writing, helps my brain focus.  While the desk works well it wasn’t very attractive.  I had considered painting it or covering it with contact paper but never got around to it.  Then I was looking for fabric to make a curtain for our trailer when I found his material:

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I really liked it but what could I use it for?  Aha, the treadmill desk.

It was so easy. I used a hot glue gun to attach the layers of styrofoam together and then covered the joined layers with the material. I still have two separate pieces with two door stops in between to adjust for the slope of the treadmill handles. My laptop still sits on the SurfShelf. I can reach the treadmill controls underneath the SurfShelf.
The material is flannel and provides enough friction that nothing is sliding around but the mouse still works great on the soft flannel surface.  Gluing the pieces together stopped  minor squeaking too.

Voila:

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Yes, I did write this entire post while walking on my treadmill.