Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Killer Treadmills

I have recovered quite well, thank you.  Furthermore, I come away with sage advice: Don’t text and treadmill.
I’ll get back to me in a bit.
First this.  According to a Live Science article by Rachael Rettner, there were 30 deaths associated with treadmills in the U.S. between 2003 and 2012.  On average, three deaths occur each year.  Aamer Madhani reports in USA Today that hospital emergency departments across our fruited plain saw an estimated 24,400 treadmill related injuries in 2015.
There have been some notable treadmill deaths in recent years.  Perhaps you recall the death of heavyweight Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter a half-dozen years back.  More recently, you may remember the death of Dave Goldberg—CEO of SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.  Mr. Goldberg died as a result of head trauma and blood loss following an accident that occurred while he was exercising on his treadmill.
My treadmill accident was a bit more (pun intended) run-of-the-mill.
On many previous occasions, I have sought to establish that I am an idiot.
A quick review for new readers.  I don’t read instructions.  I don’t heed warnings.  I don’t pay attention.  I once hit myself in the head—full force—with my own hammer.
Two fairly simple safety measures sit atop the treadmill safety hierarchy.   First, tether yourself to the safety key so a fall will automatically stop the machine.  Second, move your treadmill away from walls.  These may hurt you in a fall and may pin you against the active walking belt.
Boring stuff, right?  That’s for dumb people.
So, with both measures firmly ignored, I fired up my machine yesterday and started walking.  My much, much, much smarter-than-me phone sat in a cubby on the control panel.  When a text dinged in, I casually picked up the phone—still walking—and then tried to respond. 
My response turned out to be me ejecting off the end of the walking belt, phone in hand.  Down I dropped against the belt.  I scrambling in place, stuck there between the active machine and the wall.  The belt continued to grind away at my right knee as I flopped around like a fish flung down a staircase.
This continued until that girl, who happened to be nearby, ran over and pulled the running key and saved me.
Thanks, that girl!
This morning I have been reading about treadmill safety.  It’s a page-turner, for sure.

--Mitchell Hegman

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