The Tale of Elliptical Hill
September 17, 2017
My husband and I are both fairly educated people, but if you lived near us you would be writing letters to our various alma maters requesting that our degrees be rescinded in order to maintain academic quality and reputation.
At least four times a calendar year our neighbors witness us doing something that
1) seems really difficult and unnecessary and/or
2) seems outright foolish and/or
3) seems just plain dangerous.
The Tale of Elliptical Hill fits all three categories.
Backing this story up way before we get to the hill, Glen and I had been on the search for a new elliptical for a few weeks in the winter of 2013 after the one we had in the basement broke. I know what you are thinking, “woh fancy pants, a home gym?” To clarify, 95% of the things we own are from Craiglist so by “on the search” I really do mean “search.” Our top price point was insultingly low but given our unique combination of laziness and desire to exercise, having the equipment in our house was necessary so we kept on our eyes on the interwebs.
We found a reasonably priced elliptical at a gym that was going out of business, and went there to find an abandoned warehouse and circling police cruisers… We stuck around this situation longer than you would have liked us to before fleeing the scene ellipticalless.
But the internet came through and we found an elliptical for sale at someone’s house. Picking it up wasn’t a big problem because at this point we still owned a very family unfriendly pickup truck. But getting it back into our house really tested the “for worse” part of our vows and proved that our marriage will endure.
Why Don’t You Slide?
It was January in New England so in a shocking twist, the ground was covered in a couple inches of ice snow. The kind that doesn’t really know what kind of precipitation it wants to be, but does know that it wants to kill you. Also, our house sits on a piece of property ideally designed for sledding. Flat front yard, steepish hill leading into the backyard and a basement walkout.
Plan A was to bring the elliptical in through the front door but after we measured it out it wouldn’t fit down the basement stairs. So Plan B was to get it down the hill and into the basement through the walkout. Plan C was to give up, leave the elliptical in the driveway, go inside, and make a nice cheese plate. (Plan C was vetoed because my husband hates me. Or maybe he hates cheese.)
One of the many problems with Plan B was that we had to carry the elliptical and it weighs approximately 45,000 pounds. We must have gotten it into the truck through a combination of adrenaline and human growth hormone because when we tried to lift it back out of the truck I started to cry tears of defeat.
There are actually wheels on this monster machine but surprisingly they didn’t function well in ice snow. So Glen MacGyver put together a system of two large wooden planks. The elliptical would be on one, then we would lift it onto the next wooden plank. Wooden plank 1 then needed to be moved to the front. This worked out okay for the front yard but I still complained the whole time.
Feeling the Freezer Burn
Turning the corner onto the hill is where things got real. Due to this newfangled concept called “gravity,” the elliptical would sit on our wooden plank for approximately .3 seconds before trying to hurl itself to the bottom of the hill. So Glen had to hold it horizontally on the hill while I moved the boards. And the boards were heavy, and we were on ice snow, and on a hill, and I was probably hungry, so everything was terrible but there was no turning back. I fell up and down the hill around 6-36 times, somewhere around there, before starting to yell irrationally and cursing under my breath like the Wet Bandits. Then I started to cry more, because that’s always helpful.
Nearing the bottom of the hill, while Glen was still holding strong but I was long past having the will to live, the elliptical started to tip over. Because this hill not only goes down but also bends weirdly to the side like a swirly slide at the park. We tried to catch it, but remember it weighed 500,000 pounds, so it just crushed us and our spirits.
After popping back in my dislocated shoulder and using an old rag to stop from bleeding out through the massive gash in my head*, I took a little walk into the backyard to contemplate how much I really wanted the elliptical and/or to be married still.
Deciding to stay together for the kids (that we didn’t have yet), I returned to the elliptical where by this point Glen had given up on me and somehow hoisted the whole thing onto his back like the Hulk. So my job responsibilities shifted to “just get the door to the basement open,” which I was awesome at by the way. But the elliptical didn’t fit through the door. At this point I blacked out from rage.
Marry Someone Better Than You
After coming to I found the elliptical assembled in the basement and a glass of wine in my hand. Proving yet again that Glen > Me. And that love is blind to recklessness (his) and dramatic self-pity (mine). And that you shouldn’t buy an elliptical in January if it won’t fit in the front door. At least we all learned something.
With the sincere hope that Glen remembers me being more helpful in his version of the story,
*Probably. I can’t be held responsible for remembering the extent of my injuries, or lack thereof.
PS. Happy anniversary, Glen! I love you and very much appreciate that you tolerate me. Here’s to 100 more years of questionable decisions and laughing until our faces hurt.