At this point, it's not really the difficulty of an hour of cardio that makes me watch the clock tick down. It's the tedium. So ... frickin' ... boring.
Once in a great while I'll hear a pop song loud enough to be heard over the whirring of the treadmills to occupy my attention for three minutes. But most of the time, the Life Center offers a constant buzzing sound and muted TVs with subtitles scrolling across the bottom.
I know, I know. I need a radio. I bought one, but it crackled the whole time I used it and didn't get very good reception. I'm sort of not an mp3 person. And as a friend told me, if I were to bring a CD walkman into the gym it would "look as big as a suitcase" and would draw sneers and laughs from all.
Anyway, this got me thinking today, as I was staring out the big picture windows at cars driving by, about what the perfect gym would be like. Dream with me ...
You'd climb onto an elliptical or treadmill, and a screen would come out of the wall in front of you and wrap around three sides, sort of like the Omnitheatre at the Science Museum -- you're completely surrounded by a screen, and it blocks out your peripheral vision. Then, a virtual menu would appear, and you could choose a course. Maybe you want to walk through alleyways in an ancient Italian city. Maybe you want to take a jog through Central Park, or climb up the Eiffel Tower. For the more adventurous among us, they could choose the rainforest voyage, and hike through rural Brazil, avoiding giant spiders and snakes along the way.
And the virtual system would read our hydration level, and every time we got thirsty, an ice cold water bottle with a straw would appear and give us a drink.
Can you imagine? I'd stay on that darn thing all day. There's no patent pending, so feel free to put this plan into action. I just ask that you give me a free membership for coming up with such a cash cow idea.