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The stepmill is my favorite inanimate object to hate. The stepmill doesn’t care. It doesn’t care if you can’t breath or wondering if you’re going to fall and ride the steps down to the floor, possibly becoming a viral video titled “Fitness Fail”. Regardless how you feel and what your mind is saying to you it will keep plugging along at what ever speed you have set. That is also why I love it and make myself do it at least once a week.

Other people have a complicated relationship with this machine because it is always busy. People take it over for half an hour minimum. I want them to step off (ha!) so I can take it over for half an hour.

I love the treadmill. I can play on that thing for hours. It’s amazing how the slight change of range of motion from walking or running to lifting and bending your leg to step up makes a huge difference you feel immediately and immediately wonder why you thought this was a good idea and why did you choose that time limit.

While I’m being a circling shark waiting for the stepmill to open, I observe the climbers look human. By that I mean they are not drenched in sweat or like they’re morphing into a strawberry. I ooze sweat. I just appears. Suddenly my arms are wet, covered in glistening dew, my hands soaked like I just rinsed them. I wipe them on my clothes but those are also wet so it doesn’t help. Forget about wiping my face. I’ve never thought about bringing a towel until I met the stepmill and I never remember I’ve thought about bringing a towel until I wipe my brow. Once you start wiping your face, you can’t stop. It’s just a dripping waterfall. I feel like I sweat half my body weight, but my body disagrees.

I can feel my lungs fill and deflate. I can feel the little tree guys inside them fill and deflate. I start to wonder is this too much? Am I crossing a line? Am I about to die?

It’s mind over matter. I know I’m not going to die. I coach myself like I’m talking to someone else. You only have seven minutes left. That’s nothing! And I need to have a routine. I can’t just climb to the top of the Sears Tower. I skip stairs for a minute. I crossover facing left or right for a minute, walk straight, and repeat on the other side. Something to fill the grueling monotony.

Why do I do it? I’m getting better. I can see myself getting better. I like simple things that kill. It’s climbing stairs. I ran them in college when late to class. After 25-30 minutes I’ll feel like I’ve pushed too much, abused my body, going to need to take a day to recover. I cool down on the treadmill and feel renewed, reinvigorated. I survived. I did it. It’s mentally and physically challenging. If I had quit when I wanted to, I wouldn’t have felt this way.

Just as computers are better for some students because computers are consistent and “quiet” (no sighs, no facial expressions or other body language), the Stepmill is good for you. It lets you work your mind and body on your own at your own pace. I thought it was a complicated relationship, but it just wants me to be better.

What’s been your experience with the Stepmill? Let me know.