Elliptical Intentions by
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Prompted By Priciest Purchase

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Surely the priciest purchases we’ve made were our city coop and our house in the country,  and we’ve been enjoying both for years with no buyer’s remorse.

But those aside,  one big expenditure we made that I do regret is the large elliptical exercise machine that’s been taking up space in our apartment.

We’re not gym rats or exercise fanatics,  but we decided a handy and relatively painless way to stay in shape would be to get a treadmill or a recumbent bike.  We were advised the best exercise equipment was actually an elliptical,  and so we bought one,

That was a dozen or more years ago,  however I can probably count on one hand the times either of us has used it.  And so I’ve been urging my husband to sell it,  or just give the damn thing away,  but each time I bring up the subject he says,  “I promise I’ll start using it tomorrow.”

Of course as Shakespeare reminds us,  “Tomorrow,  and tomorrow,  and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day,  to the last syllable of recorded time.”

So meanwhile there it stands – our pricey elliptical – collecting dust and recording time.   But we just made a new year’s resolution  – if we don’t use it by January 1 out it goes!

(Come to think of it,  there were also those strappy Manolo Blahnik shoes I once bought in a weak moment,  but that’s another story.)

Dana Susan Lehrman


Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Exercise
Characterizations: been there, funny, right on!, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    I’m sure your unused elliptical has similarly abandoned kin in many houses. Fortunately we just invested in a simple frame to transform an unused bicycle into a stationary one—but unfortunately to a similar unused fate. Love the full Shakespeare “tomorrow” quote!

  2. John Shutkin says:

    Fun story, Dana. And, actually, you make me feel better about my own, pricey elliptical — looks just like the one you pictured, though I sure don’t look like the guy on it — since I actually use it pretty regularly to work out on, especially as the weather gets colder. Plus, I actually have been using it more since our reunion in June since a couple of my classmates put together some amazing playlists of 60’s and 70’s music for us to listen to. In fact, the playlists are now on Spotify, so feel free to partake:

    “HR71 Events” – the music played in the background at Registration, lunches etc.

    “HR71 Dinner” – the music played during cocktails and dinner at the Museum of Science.

    “HR71 Dance” – the music we requested the DJ to draw from (though he also added a Monkees song himself).

    Maybe these great tunes will motivate you more for the elliptical.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Home exercise equipment is frequently an expensive way to hang clothing, I’m told, so you are not alone in your “tomorrows”.

    In speaking with a friend last week, she seemed surprised that I stream exercise classes at home. “Do you really have the discipline to get to it all the time?” I am one of those people who does, though my equipment (purchased at the beginning of lockdown) was not pricey and I am very disciplined.

  4. Marian says:

    I’ve seen more bikes and ellipticals festooned with clothing than used at home, Dana. I would make myself go to the gym (pre-COVID) and use the ellipticals there, but never wanted to have one in the house. Although during COVID, it would have been nice to have the exercise.

  5. Suzy says:

    Exercise equipment as a place to hang clothes is a very common result. My first husband and I bought a Nordic Track ski machine, and only used it a handful of times before we gave up and started hanging clothes on it.

    So now I want to hear the story of the strappy Manolo Blahnik shoes!

    • Thanx Suzy, comforting to know we’re not the only lazy exercisers!

      The expensive shoe story is simple – I bought a navy cocktail dress for a wedding and looked for navy satin shoes which I thought would be perfect with the dress. But I couldn’t find any, and don’t remember if I tried to have a pair dyed or that was no longer being done.

      In any case as the event approached I panicked and against my better judgment spent a ridiculous amount on the one pair of navy satin shoes I finally found.

      I must have been in denial at the shoe store and convinced myself they fit, but at the wedding they pinched, I could barely walk, and I’ve never worn them again!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    I agree with Suzy. It would make a lovely clothes hanger. We did hang on to our seated elliptical, which we are using. It takes up a lot of space in our downsized surroundings, so we can’t avoid seeing it guilting us into using it.

  7. Susan Bennet says:

    I knew I’d like this story, Dana, and clearly others identified with it too. I was just looking at one of these online and wondering….how does it really work? Your disillusionment is duly noted. Over the years we have given away two treadmills and one Nordic Trak. And yet, hope over experience, we may be going back for more. Fun story.

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