Cinderblock, I get it. Running on a treadmill is not fun. After all, it is a treadmill, and the saying, “get off the treadmill,” doesn’t mean “stop having such overwhelming, incredible fun.”
Many people probably appreciate your clever “hack” of the whole treadmill thing. Just keeping one paw on the treadmill does allow you to say that technically you are still on the treadmill. That’s probably one reason why this video of you went viral:
Oh, it also helped that your name is Cinderblock, which is quite memorable. I have never met any cat or person named Cinderblock. In fact, the only thing that I have met named Cinderblock was an actual cinder block.
Folks at the Northshore Veterinary Hospital put you on the treadmill as part of a program to help you lose weight. I have written before for Forbes about how there is an ongoing pet obesity epidemic. So you are not alone. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% of cats in the U.S. are struggling with overweight issues or obesity.
So how do you make running on a treadmill less tedious, less repetitive, less like the word “cake” in the Rihanna song “Birthday Cake”? Well, Cinderblock, here are some suggestions:
- Listen to some music, a podcast, or a book on tape: This seems to be the most common way to pass the time. If you go to a gym, you’ll tend to see people on treadmills wearing earphones. Just make sure that you don’t sing out loud. Chances are you don’t sound as good as you think you do.
- Talk to someone: This can be to the person next to you or someone on the phone. If you are going to use the phone, make sure that you tell the person on the line that you are on a treadmill. Otherwise, your heavy breathing can make for a very awkward conversation.
- Watch television or the Internet: Some treadmills will be equipped with a video monitor, or perhaps there will be a TV nearby. Be careful though, you are still on a moving treadmill and could stumble and fall if not paying enough attention to your feet.
- Play around with the treadmill controls: Most treadmills allow you to at least change the speed and the incline, giving yourself some variety. This also helps you break the workout down into intervals. For example, 30 minutes on the treadmill can actually three different 10-minute segments or six different five minute segments.
- Give yourself a mental puzzle to solve: Choose something that you think will engross you, so that you don’t realize that you are on a bleeping treadmill. This can be something straightforward like trying to estimate the number of cats who watch human videos or something more complex like how to prevent the next human catastrophe.
- Repeat a phrase: It shouldn’t be something like “when will this end, when will this end, when will this end,” or “this is bad, this is bad, this is bad.” Instead, it should be something more uplifting or encouraging.
- Go through a story: You can either tell yourself an existing story like the plot to Avengers: Endgame or devise an unplanned story and see where it takes you.
- Role play: Pretend that you are someone else. For example, you imagine yourself to be Lionel Messi running around on the pitch, Simona Halep scrambling on the tennis court, the Flash speeding through the streets, or the Royal Family dodging the paparazzi. Just make sure that when you tell people that you are going to “role play” on the treadmill, they understand that role playing can have different purposes.
- Focus on your form: This may not work for everyone but thinking about your neck and back alignment and your stride can be helpful. Of course, focusing on how you are running on a treadmill can be a reminder that you are running on a treadmill.
- Vary your gait and movements: Who says that you have to run on treadmill? How about skipping, doing high knees, side shuffling, or even Oppan Gangnam style, as long as you are sufficiently careful.
- Use your upper body: You can do lots of things with your arms and upper body. Swinging your arms can make running easily. You can do arm stretches or try flossing, the dance move and not the dental hygiene move.
- Try some apps: There are apps available to help with the dreadmill boredom. For example, the “Fit Radio” app provides music-accompanied workout plans, the “Nike+ Run Club” app offers coaching and running plans, and the “Zombies, Run!” app provides, well, zombies who are trying to eat your brain. Not real zombies, of course, but a story of zombies that prompt you to avoid them.
Of course, apps are no replacement for real people, real cats, or real zombies for that matter. Having some friends around may be the best way to get you through treadmill tedium. Looks like someone eventually helped you get through a full treadmill workout:
One correction to the tweet: Cinderblock appear to have obesity rather than is obese. Obesity is a medical condition and isn’t a person’s or a cat’s identity. Regardless, just remember, Cinderblock, you are not alone: