Look what I made!

1:17 PM

Sorry--you're going to have to settle for stock photos right now as I'm posting at work (bad monkey!) and do not have the luxury of my camera, USB cord, or appropriate software. Pretty screwy, considering I work at a school known for its photography program. Anyway...

I haven't posted lately because my evenings have not been my own. They have been snatched away by this evil creation. Yes, I know. It's teeny and hard to see. This is the Nordic Track AudioStrider 600 Elliptical. It was delivered to our house on Friday in a great big box. Now, neither of the members of my household (yes, that would be The Beloved and me) are what one would call particularly handy. So, when we purchased said piece of exercise equipment from our local Sears, we asked how much it would cost to have it assembled. Thus spake the all-knowing Sears salesman: "$120.00. But, it's really easy to put together. It's only, like, three pieces--the base is all one piece and then, you know, like the handlebars and stuff. I wouldn't pay for assembly." So neither does The Beloved.

The Box comes to the house on Friday while I am at an Information Literacy Jamboree in Southborough, Mass. When I get home, I immediately open up the box to find way more than three pieces. It turns out I will need a Phillips Head Screwdriver and a Rubber Mallet in addition to the great big box of unmarked screws, bolts and washers in order to put this sucker together. Oh--and it will require the assistance of at least one other person. Instead of buckling down, I proposed dinner out. This allowed us to drink Margaritas and come up with a game plan.

Well. I should have continued to drink Margaritas. It would have greatly improved my outlook on life. Putting this sucker together was a nightmare. We didn't even take everything out of the box until Tuesday night (my fault--allergies got the better of me). From that point on, however, nothing fit the way the instruction manual suggested. The screws wouldn't go all the way in. The stabilizer bar isn't as stable as I would like. And when an item comes with its own packet of grease? Yes--these are all signs that someone else should be putting it together! The cats did their best to help us, which incurred threats of wrath from The Beloved. At the end, we had an assortment of screws--none of which matched the description nicely laid out in the paperwork so lovingly included by the good people at Nordic Track--with which to complete the final steps. I contemplated using the rubber mallet to beat The Beloved. The machine, however, works. We both used it this morning. Wa. Hoo.

The Nordic Track AudioStrider 600 Elliptical includes a feature called "iFIT." Here's a description from Nordic Track themselves:

Lose weight, feel great and improve performance in just 8 weeks with iFIT interactive workout card technology! Each card is designed by a Certified Personal Trainer and plugs directly into the elliptical's console, automatically adjusting your resistance, while the voice of a personal trainer takes you through each workout. iFIT workout cards are available in Wellness and Weight Loss categories to give you the most advanced, interactive and result-specific fitness options.

So I, being a dutiful wife, purchased the Beginner Weight Loss card. The Beloved chose not to use it this morning, opting instead for just 20 minutes of...exercise...on the beastly contraption. However, I shelled out $30 for this thing--it's going to help me look svelte and gorgeous and be fit and healthy! By the end of my workout this morning, however, I was ready to kill my little computerized personal trainer. The workout was fine--a little strenuous for a "beginner," particularly one in fat camp--but the damned perky voice coming from the console?! "Pick it up!" "Feel the burn!" "Remember your goals!" Yeah. Bite me. I don't need this crap. From a computer. At 6:00 AM.

Tomorrow morning I will plug in my iPOD whilst laboring away for 20-30 minutes, hoping and praying that the elliptical does not decide to come apart at its carefully assembled seams. I think I may follow The Beloved's example and temporarily eschew Olga, or whatever my iFIT dominatrix chooses to call herself, in favor of something uptempo and loud. Perhaps after I've gained a modicum of physical fitness I can endure perky at 6:00 AM.

The next post will include knitting. I promise.

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