Don’t touch that dial

This could be me in a few more days, if I don't get back on the trails.

 Slowly but surely, I am becoming an expert on daytime TV.         

OK, not exactly an expert. But I’m certainly expanding my knowledge base at a frightening rate.            

Just about every day of this cold, snowy week, I’ve run on a treadmill at lunchtime, in the basement of my office.            

And when I am down there, humping away the miles, I can’t escape the TV images.            

No, I don’t turn on the TV. It’s already on when I enter the workout room. I ‘m just a captive viewer. Whatever is on the tube is what I’m going to be watching for the next 30 to 60 minutes.            

Thank God, I’m not forced to watch Jerry Springer or Judge Judy or any of that dreck. But what’s on is just a step or two above that.            

On Monday, it was football highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter. For 45 minutes, I watched what seemed to be every great touchdown pass, interception, sack and upset in NFL history.            

On Tuesday, I saw an Andy Griffith festival on some rerun channel.            

And today, it was a dramatic re-enactment of a murder case in Alabama on the Discovery Channel. I watched how the cops found the body, how they hunted down the leads, staked out the bad guys and caught the murderer.  

Obviously, I’d much rather be running down a trail, listening to birds and watching the snow fall.          

But it’s been one of those weeks.  Lots of snow. Lots of cold. Lots of work.            

The treadmill is the easy fallback.       

So I head downstairs, turn on the machine, and turn off my brain. Let the TV entertain me.     

It’s a frightening thought.     

I gotta get back outside.     


Speaking of treadmills, this is one of the most bizarre workout contraptions I’ve ever seen.            

Why would anyone want to push this heavy machine around?            

If you want to be outdoors, just run trails or roads.            

And if you want to run on a treadmill, why go to this much trouble? Just go to the gym.     

What do you think? Would you ever buy this thing?           


A lot of my friends are runners, and therefore pretty active and healthy.  But in Indiana, we’re apparently in the minority.            

According to a story in this morning’s newpaper, Indiana  is No. 2 in the nation for adult smoking rate, No. 8 for cancer deaths and No. 12 for diabetes cases.            

More than one-quarter of all Indiana residents (28 percent) get no physical activity. About 27 percent of Hoosiers are obese.   

I’ve never considered Indiana all that healthy. Now I know just how unhealthy it is.       


It’s been nearly a week since I ran outside, and I’ll have to fix that this weekend.            

One option is to head out to Fort Ben and enjoy snowy trails for about an hour.            

If the snow is too deep, another option is to stick to plowed roads.            

Yet another option is to run a 5K cross-country race at Northview Church in Carmel, which hosts lots of races on its 5K course all year long, as a fundraiser for its charities.  I’ve never taken part. Maybe this is the weekend to start. The cost is only $5 and a can of food.             

Meanwhile, a bunch of friends are driving down to Yellowwood State Forest to run the Tecumseh Trail Marathon course as a fun run. I won’t have time for that, as I have an all-afternoon meeting at church.            

So my plans are still a bit vague. But I do know two things for sure about this weekend.            

1) I will be running.            

2) During my run, there will be no TV anywhere around me.            

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3 Responses to “Don’t touch that dial”

  1. The guy who finished 17th at the 2009 NYC Marathon (2:17:49) says he ran all 8 of his key workouts, 22 to 24 mile cut down runs on a treadmill. So I figure if it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me.

    Your brain may go numb, but at least your hands don’t.

    • I guess you can’t argue with results, but I would go crazy doing that. It’s also amazing, since the NYC Marathon is held in late fall, meaning that guy had all summer and fall to train outdoors.

  2. The stats on Indiana are really surprising. Twenty eight percent get NO physical activity? Wow. That’s despicable.
    And as for your daytime TV woes, welcome to my world. There are certain of my duties that must be done in front of the TV; it’s just the way I have to do it. And it’s pretty grim. That murder show sounded good though . . . better than what I’ve sat through.

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