It all started when I got fat.
I had been wanting to lose weight for a while, but being a not-exactly-starving-starving artist, I didn’t have the money to join a gym or buy equipment of my own. Yeah I could have gone running, but who want’s to do that? Not me! Never could run as a kid so I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to as an adult.
That was when I decided to check out Craigslist to see if there was any free equipment that wasn’t too ancient. I didn’t want to end up with one of those “shake the fat away” machines. You know, the one with the belt? Yeah. No thanks.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to find an elliptical that someone was giving away for free! What luck! Right? From what I saw in the pictures it looked to be a few years old. One of the speakers on it was busted but I didn’t have an MP3 player to hook into it anyway. I decided to give the “seller” a call.
After talking on the phone to a woman named Jeanette, a time was set for me to go to her home and pick up the elliptical. She sounded strangely relieved to be getting rid of the equipment but I was too excited to be getting it for free that it really didn’t phase me at the time.
So, that Friday, I borrowed my dad’s truck and some rope and headed out to get my new treasure. On the way I thought of how in a few short weeks I would be on my way to a swimsuit season bod. I already had my mind set that I would buy a cute bikini.
After driving for around a half hour, flipping a couple u-ees and stopping at stop signs long enough to be honked at, I made it to Jeanette’s. Surprisingly, she was waiting outside. I thought it was a little odd, but again, I didn’t pay much attention.
Jeanette looked to be in her mid fifties and about 5ft 6in. Her skin was a bit pale and she had dark circles under her eyes. Her hair was a little unkempt and it sort of looked as if she had just then thrown on whatever clothes she could find.
“Hi! Jeanette?” I held out my hand to shake hers.
“Yes, hello.” She said quietly.
Her handshake was soft and reserved, and she had a bit of a worried look in her eye. “Please come in.”
I followed her into the house and then into the living room. There it stood in all it’s free glory.
“Niiice.” I said, eying up the elliptical.
“Okay then. Would you like me to help you out with it?” She asked quickly and nervously.
“Oh, uh, yeah sure thanks.” I was a little surprised that she hadn’t offered any kind of reason why she would be getting rid of the machine for free, so I asked.
“Oh.” She said nervously. “It just takes up too much space and I don’t really need the money. I can’t see getting much for it anyway.”
She kind of half smiled and began to try and lift the back end of the machine. I rushed over to assist.
After a few minutes and a lot of heave hoeing we eventually got the elliptical into the bed of the truck. I thanked her once again and headed home.
The machine sat in the bed of the truck until my boyfriend made it over to my apartment. It took a few tries and some remembering of high school geometry but we successfully got it through the door and into the living room. I looked it over and, like I saw in the pictures online, the only thing wrong with it was the one broken speaker. Other than that it was absolutely perfect! Here I come beach body!
I jumped on and started pressing buttons. “Oh ok! This one tracks your heartbeat, this one shows how many calories you burn…”
My boyfriend laughed at me and told me I looked like a kid at Christmas. After a little while, he left for work and I was left to play with my new toy. I had apparently worked out a little too hard because by 9:00 pm I was pooped and collapsed on my bed. The next thing I remember was waking up to a strange noise.
In a daze, my brain tried it’s damnedest to figure out what the sound was. Was the faucet on? Was it raining outside? I opened one eye and looked at my window. I could see the moon. No clouds.
The more I came out of my slumber, the clearer the whooshing sound got, and I realized what it was. The ell