The Life of A Batty Broad

Good Intentions, Flawed Results

Head, I Would Like to Introduce You to Treadmill

Subtitle: Or How I Got Kicked Out of The Gym

The Batty Broad is starting to worry that my readers think that I spend all of my time getting lost and trying to find my children.  While that does occupy much of my not-so-free time, it is only one of my many, many talents.  I also spend a considerable amount of time falling down.  I know, I know, you are completely jealous of my incredible natural gifts.

If you doubt the veracity of my testament to being balance-challenged I offer the following factual events.  I am proud to say that no animals, people or property were injured in the following incidents (well, except me of course):

1.  I gave myself an episiotomy on a sprinkler head when I was 8 years old (I will now pause to allow you to either wince in pain, laugh, or go look up episiotomy).  Let’s just say that’s not a word you should ever know when you are 8 years old and it certainly isn’t somewhere you should need stitches.  It’s a wonder that I had children after that.

2.  I  once fell down in a dance boutique.  The store was very small and very crowded with merchandise.  When I fell I managed to take out an entire clothing rack and two stacks of dance shoes.  This caused the entire store to come to a dead stop in stunned silence.  This was then replaced by my daughters friend yelling, “Miss Michelle are you OKAY?!”  Which was then followed by deafening laughter.  Humiliation is my best friend.

3.  On the way to church one morning I fell down on the sidewalk, twisted my ankle and injured my knee.  I then passed out on someone’s front porch and had to be taken away by ambulance.  It was Easter Sunday and a very large crowd of people began their Easter morning watching me be carted off to the hospital in torn pantyhose and no shoes.  They are all probably still traumatized.

These are just a few of the highlights of the portion of my life I like to call “Gravity Hurts”.  Listen, the world is spinning and some of us get a little dizzy and then, like a bully on the playground, that bitch gravity just pushes you down and takes your lunch money (or your dignity in my case).    So in summary, I’ve spent a lot of time demonstrating the literal version of the old childhood adage “fall down go boom”.

Recently,  I had managed to go through a short period of equilibrium and I was feeling pretty good about my ability to both walk  and talk at the same time.  As you must know by now (refer to ANY previous blog post) this is the moment when things seem to go horribly, horribly wrong in my life.  You would think I would learn but nooooooo.  On this particular occasion I was at my gym working on my newest endeavor – preparing to run a 5K.

OKAY, I KNOW, why would someone who can barely stand without help and has less balance than your average 2 year old be trying to RUN?!  Well, as I have explained, I have that oh-so-troublesome problem of good intentions meets over-confidence.  I shall not be deterred!  Yes, I would be the person you see on the 11 o’clock news being rescued from the side of a mountain (you know the one that makes you say to yourself, “what an idiot”).  That’s me.

So I get to the gym and grab an available treadmill and plug in my iPod touch.  On my very cool, super techy iPod touch is a program called “Couch to 5K”.  Seems self explanatory.  Get your ass up off the couch and run you lump of lard!  I had been using the program for a couple of workouts and everything had been going well.   – Cue the dramatic “here’s where it all goes wrong music” – So I get on the treadmill and for some unknown and completely annoying reason, my headphone cord is getting caught in my arm when I’m running.  I try adjusting my arms and the damn thing is just determined to attack me!  This is causing an even bigger problem because it’s attached to the iPod, which is about to fall right on to the treadmill.

Now kiddies, let’s stop and think about what we should do under such circumstances?  Let’s see…probably stop the treadmill, find a way to adjust everything so that nothing falls down or gets broken, especially me.  That would be the SMART thing to do.  But the Batty Broad does not like to be bothered by logic and other adult stuff.  It’s so BORING!  So instead I continue trying to adjust things while continuing to run which causes the inevitable to happen.  Blindfolded monkeys on a three day beer bender could have seen this coming.  My iPod falls onto the treadmill and bounces around several times and is then catapulted off the treadmill into the nearby weight machines.

CRAP!  First of all the guy next to me is giving me the same look my husband gives me – “what the hell are you DOING?”  I give him the same treatment that I give my husband – I ignore him.  So I pause the treadmill, get off and go retrieve my iPod which is sitting at the feet of the girl on the bicep curl machine. Back to the treadmill.  Start running.  Same thing happens AGAIN!  So now I’m starting to get a little embarrassed.  The guy next to me is trying not to laugh.

I’m so busy concentrating on trying to be cool, while I go find my iPod on the gym floor, that I forget one minor detail.  I forget to pause the treadmill.  I take a step onto the still moving treadmill, which is moving at 4 mph in the opposite direction, and am gripped with a painful moment of recognition.  Gravity is back.  Now when the iPod fell, it tumbled around and flew off without too much noise or distraction.  But when the Batty Broad fell, well there was slightly more noise and frankly a lot more distraction.

Let’s go to the slow motion cameras –  Bill  and Jim (Bill and Jim are my  internal radio announcers who bring lively commentary to my antics)

Bill: Oh, no what is she doing?  She’s going the wrong direction!
Jim: Wait, she’s trying to balance herself but the treadmill is just going too fast.
Bill: There she goes, she’s falling!  She landed on her butt!  That ought to break her fall with all that padding! (Bill and Jim punch each other in the shoulder and laugh)
Jim: But she keeps going..oh, my she hit her head too!  Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark!
Bill: Now she’s flying off the treadmill!  She lost a shoe! Oh my God we could have a catastrophe, she’s headed right at the girl on the weight machine!  For our viewers at home, you might want to ask the kids to leave the room now, this could be graphic.
Jim: Wow she just missed her by a fraction of an inch.  This is unbelievable.  This will go down in treadmill history for sure.  I thought we might need the Jaws of Life.
Bill: She’s down!  She’s down!  Hopefully she won’t burst into flames
Jim:  Someone’s running over…I think she’s going to be rescued.  That was a close one Bill.
Bill:  Thanks for tuning in, now back to our regularly scheduled program

Yes, I am now lying on the ground and my butt hurts and my head hurts and everyone is staring at me with actual looks of fear on their face.  This is compounded by the gym attendant who is running over to me and yelling “ARE YOU OKAY?”  Why is it that when you fall down people assume that you are now deaf?  Stop yelling lady, my head hurts!   I would cry but my pain is currently being blocked by overwhelming confusion and humiliation.

I try to establish that I am indeed “okay” and am able to stand.  I’m fairly certain that my ego is severely bruised and may need life-saving measures, but physically I will survive.  After I find my iPod and my shoe, I start to get back on the treadmill to continue my work out but the gym attendant has other ideas.  First of all she wants to call the paramedics to have me “checked out”.  That is not happening.  Have I not been humiliated enough for one night?  The guy who was on the treadmill next to me has moved and is looking at me warily.  I explain that really, I AM FINE.  She’s not buying it.  She tells me that I hit my head really hard.  Yes, I know this.  Everyone in the gym knows this.  Everyone within a 50 mile radius knows this.  She of course does not know that I have a REALLY hard head (don’t bump heads with me, you will be sorry).  Meanwhile I am TRYING to recover the shred of dignity (there is only one)  I have left and least get my workout done.  But this is not going to happen.  Finally the gym attendant tells me that if I’m not going to go the hospital that I have to leave the gym.

There goes the one shred of dignity that I have left.  I must perform the walk of shame.  I have been defeated by a treadmill.  I have been disgraced at the gym.  I want to fall to my knees and cry out to the heavens – “DAMN YOU GRAVITY”!  I know, a little melodramatic but I deserve a better exit than being escorted to the door by the gym attendant.  I head home with a bump on my head, a bruised bottom and a completely broken psyche.

To be safe I have ordered the following device to help me with my next foray into world of running –

You have been warned –

The Batty Broad

3 comments on “Head, I Would Like to Introduce You to Treadmill

  1. eremophila
    March 30, 2011

    Hilarious reading! I went to a gym once. Once. You are very brave going there…..I think I prefer the idea of the mouse’s running cage…..hang on….no, I’ll go for a ride on my horse,…much less dangerous!

  2. All that makes you...
    March 14, 2014

    This, this my friend is why we put a gym in at home. I do worry my kids will get off the bus and find my bloody body splattered all over the mirrors. We are indeed “slip sisters.” About 20% of my stories involve chaos. 😉
    And the sprinkler head? Please tell me it isn’t so.

    • mickimarca
      March 14, 2014

      I wish the sprinkler story wasn’t true but alas it is. Good call on the home gym. Falling in private is far less humiliating. 🙂

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