treadmill woman looking out window

Can My Treadmill Really Be Broken?  Part 1

I had a “tragedy” in my house April.  I returned on a cold, gloomy April day from a two-day out-of-town trip and I was eager to hop on the old treadmill to get my dose of exercise.  To my horror, the treadmill produced a smell that was quite alarming.  It smelled metallic, not plastic-y.  I quickly turned it off.  Could it be?  Could my 22 year old Vision Fitness T7200 treadmill be dying?

Ok, that is going too far because a machine does not literally “die.”  It is not a living thing.  But it was in my house for 2 decades so I thought of it sentimentally. It sits in my living room.  It is part of my routine on normal days.  When recovering from surgery or other illness, I look forward to jumping on and getting back in shape.

To be honest, the treadmill had been very loud for most of the last decade, at least, which I didn’t enjoy.  It needed a new belt.  I changed the belt in 2012 and the “new” one was shedding black particles and slipping slightly.  The treadmill lacked a fun electronic console.  But it had what I needed:  a simple-to-use machine that allowed me to set my pace, track my distance, time and calories, and raise the deck when I wanted that additional resistance on an incline.  What more could I need?

The Following Days

I let the machine cool off overnight and I tried it again the next day.  I started it at slow speed and gradually increased it.  At 2.2 mph, more bad smell.  So I turned it off.  I tried it awhile later, and the belt did not move.  But the incline worked, and the console lit up and responded.  It must be the motor.

I was quite unhappy with the situation.  I needed to walk!  It was 42 degrees outside and spitting rain, but I put on my shoes, and I went out. I went out the next day to walk again. The next day was a beautiful sunny spring day and I enjoyed the walk around town. Then I remembered why I don’t walk outside in the middle of the day anymore: medication that increases the risk of skin cancer. Next day, I stayed in. I walked around the house. I tried different step routines. I used hand weights while walking around.


I was feeling anxious.  The whole routine of walking twice daily for 30 minutes got me through the pandemic, and it was satisfying. I missed and needed it. I felt like I was going through withdrawal. Since neurotransmitters are produced with exercise, that was true in a sense. Those chemicals really make a difference in my mood. Those endocannabinoids are so very helpful to my mental attitude and sharpness. See post:  Endocannabinoids Not Endorphins

I needed to solve the problem of the broken treadmill fast.

To be continued.