DIY Treadmill Desk? Not My Best Plan Ever...

With school just starting here in Monterey, I can't be lazy anymore. No more late mornings, putting off laundry, or making do with popcorn and various snack products for dinner because I want to write just a little more. No more pretending watching the Lord of the Rings with my kids could count as their reading time, either.

When I tried to get back into the normal swing of things, I discovered everything I did wore me out. Getting groceries left me exhausted. Walking to pick up my kids left me dragging my feet. Did I have the energy to write? Hah! I didn't even have the energy to read the words I was typing. Part of my fatigue is just the every day reality of living with an autoimmune disorder, but a bigger part of it is that I've been sitting at a desk, or on a couch, for twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for a long time.

Inspired by the occasional human interest piece about how sitting is slowly killing us, I started researching treadmill desks. The first, and most obvious thing I discovered, was they're pricey. REALLY pricey. So, desperate to add exercise into the time I viciously guard as "my writing time" between pre-school drop off and PTA crap, I mutilated a home depot shelf, disassembled my treadmill, and shoved it under my desk.



The result isn't pretty, and frankly, it's too soon to evaluate whether or not it's going to help me reach my daily word count without feeling lethargic. So far, it's done the opposite, but I suspect that can be chalked up to a combination of my own health and me diving right in. It's surprisingly easy to type, plot, and do just about everything while plodding along at 1.5 mph, and I seriously lost track of time. Three hours and I can get my 2k words for the day hammered out.

One of the big draw backs - it's fucking exhausting! I've done four days so far, and only managed about 3 hours each day. The first day I was all enthusiastic and decided I'd walk to get my kids from school, too. I stayed conscious a whole ten minutes past the 4 year old's bed time that first night.

And it hasn't magically made me more eager to sit down and write vs. wander into the kitchen to make some vegan gingerbread cupcakes. I blame that on the treadmill itself. When it still had its arms attached, it was supposed to magically make me more eager to workout than to sit at the computer gawking at Kade Boehme's tumblr updates, and the treadmill did a shitty job of that, too. 

I've got about 20K words left to finish Purgatory & Paradise, which I'm hoping to have done and submitted by mid-September, and I thought I'd chronicle my progress with this DIY walking-while-writing project here. It'll be interesting to see how this goes. Painful, but interesting. 

So long as there are cupcakes and porn in the world, I'll carry on.  

Comments

  1. OMG. On the damn floor right now. Your life sounds eerily similar to mine. No one told me having kids would zap me of every bit of energy I possess. Lol. Good luck with the desk. And you're right, Kade ' s tumblr page is a very pretty place.

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