Tracy Lee Curtis

Treadmill desks – a workout at work

I’m fascinated with the TrekDesk. It’s an integrated treadmill desk, designed to let you walk on a treadmill while working at a desk. I can imagine what my day would be like if my cubicle had one of these things …

I get up and have a protein shake. Got a long day ahead, so it’s gonna be a workout. It’s business-casual, as I slip on my black sweat pants, white T-shirt, and pinstripe blazer. Pack up my laptop and charger – water bottle and sweat towel. Do a couple leg stretches, and I’m off.

I jog up the escalator to the fourth floor of The Charlotte Observer – gotta get my heart rate up. I hang up my jacket, step on the treadmill, set up my laptop, and pull up my hair. I enter my speed: 2 mph. And my time: 8 hours. I hit “start” and begin my day.

I check email, Twitter and Facebook. And then my distance, time and calories burned. I see my editor making his way over, so I reach for my blazer. I stumble off the track for a second, but am able to scramble on my jacket and jump back up, just in time to hit “pause” and talk to him about this week’s column.

I “resume” my work, psyched for a conference call – great way to get in some interval training. I arrow up the speed and jog while I listen in on the meeting – hitting mute when someone asks about heavy breathing and, “Is somebody having a heart attack?”

I start to write my column, but trying to walk and type is like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head. I can only type when I’m stepping forward. It’s the only way to keep a rhythm so I don’t lose my balance. Step/type. Switch legs. Step/type. Switch legs.

At 2 mph I’m only averaging about 28 steps. If I can only type when I step, and only one word when I type, I’m only typing 28 wpm. Which is a huge problem, because I’m thinking at about 120 wpm. So I’m only getting every fourth or fifth word down on paper.

That’s not going to be a good column. That’s not a column at all; that’s a list of random words. Or it’s one of those word games where you get a bunch of words and you have to make a sentence. I’ll be the first columnist ever to give her readers a bunch of words and they have to make a column.

This isn’t gonna work. I pull the emergency-off tab and jump down. Then I hit the ladies’ room to wash the sweat off my face. When suddenly, I catch myself in the mirror. How much weight have I lost? I’m actually losing weight at work …?!

Hope my readers like word games.