I used to have a treadmill. It was ancient and scruffy, but it worked to keep me from walking in the cold (Don’t judge. I know the cold in Texas isn’t considered COLD by most standards). When the treadmill died, I was presented with the option of going back out in the cold every morning (shudder) or buying a new treadmill. My Lovey, who often has great ideas I never even considered, suggested I might get an elliptical.

I think he’s trying to kill me.

The first elliptical was a minimal cost Pro-form, purchased to give me a chance to see if this kind of work-out equipment was functional for me. Within a very short time, the wheel at the back of the Pro-form began thumping with every revolution. Still, I kept going and I learned that ellipticals are different from treadmills. You can walk on a treadmill, but using an elliptical is more like running.

I think I should mention that I’m not athletic. Some people bounce out of bed in the morning, thrilled to go to the gym or put on their running shoes and sprint around the block. This isn’t me. I started walking only because I inherited a family tendency to diabetes and I wanted to avoid disastrous later-life consequences, if I could. Nothing noble here. I’ve never run before, at least not for long.

After exhausting myself on the Pro-form for nearly a year—and waking sleeping loved ones as well as the neighbors—my husband finally realized how badly the thing worked. One time, the thumping of my Pro-form even set off the house alarm. (Lovey can ignore things for quite a while, but when he sees them, he really sees them.) We put the Pro-form on the curb and found my new Octane elliptical on craigslist.

Since then, I get on my Octane elliptical and huff and puff away for 30 minutes, five days a week. I’ve told my Lovey that he may one day find me slumped over the thing, dead from a heart attack. At the same time, this Octane is amazingly smooth and effective.

So I love it…and I hate it.

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