It wasn’t even a New Year’s resolution — I just felt like getting a gym membership. Our local YMCA is just up the street from my house and my employer offers a discount on the fees as a company benefit, so I decided to sign up there. The Y staff made it extremely difficult for me by misplacing my forms, giving me the wrong member card, and failing to call me back time and time again, but I eventually prevailed in signing up. Tonight was my third visit, and I’m feeling pretty good. My routine so far is to walk/run on the treadmill for 15 minutes, use the rowing machine at a strong pace for 5 minutes, then do some or all of the 12-machine Nautilus circuit. These activities were chosen sort of randomly — they were what Orson wanted to do when he went with me the first time, and since I have yet to experience a real orientation by a staff member I’ve just been repeating what I know. I actually think it’s pretty decent as an all-around fitness routine, but if I want to burn more calories I think I’ll have to start using some of the cycling machines for a lengthier, lower-impact workout.

I really like the treadmill, though. I never would have predicted my reaction to this hunk of machinery, but I love how you can press the speed button and force yourself to run like the Six Million Dollar Man while seeing your distance, time, and number of calories consumed flashing on the display in front of you. I was really intrigued to learn that there’s a certain pace at which just about everyone has to transition from a walk into a run: 4.5. It worked for Orson just like it did for me, even though his legs are a lot longer than mine. Weird!

The treadmill appealed to me so much that last weekend I bought myself a new pair of running shoes. For anyone who might be wondering where to buy some fitness gear in Burlington, DON’T go to Olympia Sports on Church Street. The selection, and more importantly, the sales staff, suck. Thank Peep my housemate Emily told me that the Ski Rack sells running shoes. As soon as I arrived, a knowledgeable guy named Matt measured my feet, diagnosed what sort of shoe I needed (support), and pointed out the treadmill they have in the store so I could give a couple of different styles a test run. I walked out 15 minutes later with a comfortable pair of shoes (Asics GT-2110s) and a warm glow from the customer service experience. You go, Ski Rack!

Monday after work I have an appointment for a Nautilus orientation at the Y, so I should soon be lifting like someone who has a clue instead of peering at the instructions on each machine and adjusting random levers. I’m hoping to get rid of the back and hip pain that’s been dogging me for the past year. Signs are looking good already. Yay!

About the author

Janice Dawley

Outdoorsy TV addict, artistic computer geek, loner who loves people.


  • As a longtime Asics runner, I support your choice of new footwear. I still remember my first pair of Asics Gel-123’s – such great rotational support for my mild pronation. From there I eventually moved on to the Gel-Kayano. Ah, but we shared so many miles together. These shoes too, have gone to the great (but smelly) graveyard of retired running gear. Now I too am sporting the Gel-2110, and find it the most comfortable fit yet. I am curious though — does your model have the orange accent highlight on the lateral exterior cross-hatching, or did yours come with the soft blue?

  • Why, hello Ben! You wax poetic on the subject of shoes. I haven’t yet had enough experience of mine to do the same, but I can say that they have the soft blue highlights. There didn’t appear to be any other options for women in the store. At least they aren’t pink!

By Janice Dawley


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