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From the Farm

Nordic Monster in the living room

February 6, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

I have a big ugly monster in my living room. No it's not a human named Steve.

It's called an overbearing NordicTrack elliptical machine.

Yes, several years ago, I just had to have one. I swore I was going to ride it every single day. I actually did use it for a bit when I was preparing for my memorable hike through the majestic Grand Canyon. It worked. I trekked 15 miles in one day and scaled a 200-foot, almost-vertical stone wall without having any sort of sore muscles. Most of the other women had thighs that felt like burning embers the day after we conquered the wall.

I, on the other hand, didn't get sore at all. I attributed it to milking cows daily and getting on "The Machine" for 45 minutes a day.

Gradually, I waned from using "The Machine."

I had all sorts of good reasons: "It's in the Man Cave, it's gross down there." "I saw a huge spider hanging in the corner, just waiting to drop onto me." "I just didn't have time today, or yesterday, or the day before." "There isn't a television for me to watch now that Russell put it in his room to connect to the PlayStation."

I had all sorts of ill-created excuses.

So, The Machine silently spent its time down in the Man Cave with zilch company. Occasionally, the cat would go in there, but it's just as destitute the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Out of site; out of mind.

Then one day, by pure accident, I saw my self sans clothing in the bathroom mirror. Oh, the horror!

Soon after the fortuitous exposure, I begged Joey and Steve to bring the machine up into the living room area - much to the annoyance of Steve. He absolutely did not want it in the living room.

Well, The Machine is sitting in the living room and that's about all it's doing -sitting. Occasionally, "The Machine" gets bumped when I sweep or vacuum around it.

About the only purpose it serves now is to generate good-fun ribbing.

The other day, Joey tapped his spoon on the table and, out of the clear blue said, "I know what you should do today. You should exercise on that thing."

Or Steve will say, "After all that hard work bringing that ton of lead up from the basement, you should really use it."

Russell made it beep the other day, and I asked, "What's that beeping noise?"

"If you would exercise, you would know," Russell sniggered.

How kind is that?

I hear about how hard it was to bring the ton of lead out of the basement.

"I even had to go outside in my bare feet to get it in here!" Joey reminded me.

I doubt if any of the ribbing is going to get me back on the thing at this time. I find it extremely boring, and when I do get on, it squeaks. Nobody likes to exercise with an incessant squeak!

Yesterday, a commercial came on the television for Bow Flex. Personally, I find the men on those commercials annoying enough to make me upchuck.

"My wife even gives me a wink now."

"I'm So-and-So and I'm living my dreams. I am a 52-year-old playing in a rock band."

Give me a break!

Anyway, Steve looked at me and said, "Don't even think about getting one of those things!"

I guess he has a point. One monster is enough!

For questions, or

comments, e-mail me at



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