For years,  I had a treadmill in my office.

Though it was state-of-the-art in its day, it had become a dinosaur.  No video screen, no pre-selected workouts, no add on program where I could pay a monthly fee for the privilege of having someone yell at me to “push harder” or “feel the burn.”  No shelf for my laptop so I could make it a standing desk.

Its features:  make it go faster or slower, raise or lower the incline.

Oh, and a cupholder.

That’s it.

But forget Peloton, this ancient NordicTrack was indestructible.

It began its life in my parent’s basement, where it blew out a motor after less than a year’s worth of daily use.  Fortunately my parents had the warranty, but getting someone to repair it became such a nightmare that the company ultimately sent them a brand new treadmill instead.

And the next day—I kid you not—the repairman finally showed up to fix the original.

All the sudden my parents had two treadmills.

I got the one with the repaired motor.

A sane person would put a treadmill—one of the heaviest things you will ever bring into your home—into the basement.

But as long time readers of this blog know, my basement has more than once been visited by snakes, which means I spend as little time there as possible.  The idea of finding a snake stretched across my treadmill one morning would be enough to put me off exercise for life.

The only logical place for the treadmill was in my office, which was two floors up.  Someone needed to carry that (already fully assembled) treadmill up two flights of stairs.  Two very narrow flights of stairs with tight turns.

To do this without damaging my walls was mission impossible.

It took three men, and a lot of grunting and sweating, but my dad, my uncle, and my best friend’s husband finally got it up the stairs and into position.

I bought them pizza and beer, but it was still the favor of all favors.

I watched every episode of The Tudors, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Gilmore Girls on that treadmill.  (As there was no screen, I stacked a portable DVD player on top of a homemade tower that consisted of a clothes hamper, an overturned laundry basket, and a stack of books.)

On the first day, I busted the clip that kept the treadmill in an upright position, but otherwise that treadmill worked without a single issue for 15 years.

But it was finally time to say goodbye when the motor finally sputtered, coughed, and gave up earlier this month.

And this time I paid a couple of professionals to carry it back down their stairs, but they had the luxury of carrying it out in pieces.

Well done, treadmill.  Well done.

I’m sure your replacement, tricked out with blue-tooth, a television screen, and WiFi won’t last half as long.

Except here’s the thing:  my office sure looks nice with all its open space.

The treadmill was a behemoth, and the office is small.  It’s a second bedroom, perfect for me but too small for even a Queen size bed.

Working from home during the pandemic jammed in between my desk and the treadmill had never been ideal.

So now I finally have the opportunity to make it a cozier office, and I’m flooded with possibilities.  Should I take this opportunity to instead buy a bigger, U-shaped desk?

Or a bookshelf, so I no longer have to cull my book collection so often?

Or a little loveseat, so Blinker has a nicer place to sleep while I work?

The possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned.

And I’m open to suggestions in the comments….