Thursday, September 06, 2007

I have a secret phobia

And I'm going to share it with you on the premise that talking about your phobia/fear combats it.

So, during the summer, I've been going to the gym. While there I use the treadmill. You'll have seen people on the treadmill (or on the treadmill on television) jogging away like mad, the perspiration dripping from their brows, their breaths coming in short pants. Now picture this: me walking - quickly admittedly - but barely raising a glow let alone sweat, and - and this is the crunch - clinging onto the hand-bars for dear life.

I have this fear you see, doctor, that if I let go, I'll lose concentration and next thing I'll go shooting off the end. You see it's a very logical fear: all my fears are.

{Siadwel, a Welsh comedian tells of his auntie and her fear of the ground. "She says, 'It's not the jumping off a skyscraper that will kill you; it's the ground.'"}

And I'm scared to try running in case the same thing happens and I won't be able to reach the controls and slow down and the machine will go faster and faster and ... I'll sssccchhhhhwump - be off the end.

Last night I very bravely let go for a few minutes. Even in that time I was drifting all over the place. Imagine if I got carried away. And if I was wearing my headphones and watching, say, rugby, at the time, I could be strangled by my leads!

I thought talking about it might help, but it's just made me think of more dangers.

Assuming there would be lots of people who feel the same, I googled for a cartoon of someone flying off the end of a treadmill: there weren't any.

Must just be me then.


Elsie said...

It's not so bad. At least you're not afraid of the gym -- like most of us are!

Anonymous said...

In the extremely unlikely event I ever so much as enter a gym, I will be sharing your fear totally. I always watch people on TV treadmilling and wonder if it's like being on an escalator. Those last moving steps always used to trip me up. Not any more - it's the lift in my wheelchair or on my scooter these days...where I avoid looking in the mirrors because I haven't been to the, you have the edge on me, Liz!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'd be scared of the gym, let alone the tradmill, so I think you are very brave. Like the cartoon - did you do it?

Liz said...

Yes, Welshcakes, it's my handiwork. do you think i could have a new career in art?!

I used to refuse to go on escalators when I was young. It made going on the tube difficult! But luckily i didn't do that often.

Oh, and they've put up mirrors in the gym! Just what you want: to see yourself hot and sweaty - and flabby!

Age is All in the Mind said...

So step 1 in the confidence stakes is to get your gym to fit one of those devices that clips to your clothing (a bit like a clothes peg) and is attached to the stop switch at the other end by a short piece of string that is short enough to activate the OFF switch before you shoot off the end. Step 2 is to do more of what you have just tried i.e. short periods of 'look Mum - No Hands' and it will soon get better

Gattina said...

I would suffer if I am going on a very high building outside and look down or on a cliff and look down. I get dizzy and feel bad. So what to do to help me ? I just avoid to do it and live without any problem. Nobody can force me to go up there and get dizzy. So the only thing to do is don't go on a tradmill anymore. There are other things for doing gymnastic. I also have a phobia for spiders, fortunately there are not so many around and now I take my cat put her in the same room with the spider listen to the noise and when it's quiet the spider is gone, my cat happy and leaks her whiskers. Why torture yourself ?

mdmhvonpa said...

Treadmill ballistics ...

Lee said...

I can't even begin to describe the images going through my mind at the moment! ;)

Anonymous said...

I used to hate escalators when I was little too. I have'nt been on a treadmill for a while but when I first used to go I did have the same fear of falling off. I never did though (fall off)

Mauigirl said...

I totally identify with you. I have to hold on to the treadmill when I walk on it. And jog? Forget about it!

I own my own rather expensive treadmill. It's in the basement. It has boxes and other things piled on top of it. I did use it for about 3 months, and then one day I didn't. And that was the end of it, just like all the gym memberships I've bought in the past. I go for 3 months faithfully, and then boom. I stop going. So if you go, and use the treadmill, even if you hold on, you're a better woman than I!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Mine's not just a phobia, Liz, it actually happens. No matter how fast I go, I cannot stay on a treadmill...I reckon there's some sort of inbuilt sensor that keeps ahead of me all the time.

I prefer the exercise cycle...I get to sit down and exercise.

jmb said...

Liz I did go off the end of the treadmill once, about a year ago. I don't jog at my age but I step it out on the treadmill while reading a book My bookmark fell down and I tried to grab it and next thing I knew I was on the ground behind. A bit bruised but mainly just incredibly embarrassed!

Stu Savory said...

My friend Monika has a rowing machine attached to a PC of all things. The machine has a 'speedo' log. The PC shows a picture of a shark. If you row too slowly, the shark catches up & vv.

She's now being treated for a phobia about being followed ;-)

Liz said...

Thank you all! That is a) reassuring to know I'm not alone; b) worrying to know it happens!!

Winston said...

Maybe you should view the youtube video of these guys doing a choreographed dance routine across several treadmills. They make it look so simple. If I can find a link, will be back here to post it.

Winston said...

You have probably already seen it, but...

MaryB said...

Liz, I hang on for dear life when I'm on a treadmill. I do enough things to humiliate myself in my normal day-to-day life. I certainly don't need the added humiliation of flying off the back of a treadmill! Well-posted, lady!

Sir James Robison said...

I can actually understand this - they look dangerous to me and that's why I have an exercise bike instead at home.

Sabine said...

I have the same funny thoughts about treadmills, so it's a relief to find that I'm not alone!! Watching this video has me in stitches every time... I keep imagining how many cuts and bruises they suffered before they had the perfect movie!! LOL!

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I avoid the gym, on the basis that if it hurts, it probably DOESN'T work.

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