Spending P24,490 for a Happy New You!

I made a mistake. A few months ago, I wrote a column in Sun.Star Cebu entitled, “Spending P24,490 for a Happy New You!” It was new year and, I explained, what better gift to get yourself than a treadmill. Yes. That’s right. A treadmill. And a very inexpensive treadmill that costs less than P25,000. Aren’t treadmills supposed to cost much, much more? you ask. Yes.

Now, guess what? A week after the story below was published, our treadmill broke. It wouldn’t run. Tried to have it fixed but… no more. Hehehe. The lesson? Be careful what you write… Anyhow, here’s the piece below. And be careful buying that inexpensive item…

One of the wisest investments my family and I have made is buying a treadmill. Yes, a treadmill. You know, the machine that you step on, press the green button “Start,” and punish with long strides and bullet sprints while the rubber underneath turns and turns…

A treadmill is expensive. You’re right. It is. There’s one I know, the Norditrack Viewpoint 2800, sold at Chris Sports, that’s configured with a 18-button control screen, a mechanized incline slope, heart-rate monitor, and an electric fan to cool your face. All for a cool P139,000. Ahhh. Oh, did I forget to mention the TV monitor on front equipped with a ready-for-cable-TV connection? Now, that’s awfully cheap if your second name is Zobel or Gokengwei, but for us ordinary citizens, P139,000 is a partial down-payment for a brand-new 2007 Honda CR-V.

There are also, of course, the P8,595 treadmills. These are non-electric and, obviously, run on your own personal Veco power supply. The problem is, once your body has no power, then it stops turning. Also, once the rust beneath the rubber builds up, then, that’s it. Power off.

The treadmill we bought cost P24,490. Yes, to many of us, that’s still very expensive. But you know what, as I said, it’s one our best buys. Here’s why.

First, five people run on it. Of course, not at the same time. If we did, wow, we’d demolish the brand-new appliance in a nano-second. My father-in-law Jack Mendez, who, at 75 years old, still climbs aboard the treadmill and walks. So do my sister-in-law Michelle Palmares, brother-in-law Jake Mendez, wife Jasmin, and me. That’s five.

Second, we bought it back in 2005. For one year and a half until 9 last night, it’s worked. There was one time last year when the mechanic from Gaisano Metro Ayala came to repair a little problem but, other than that, it’s worked well. Looking ahead, I expect it to work for three years or more.

A treadmill expensive? Sure, the initial outlay is expensive. (Keep in mind that most sports shops offer 6- to 12-months interest free packages.) But if you divide the P24,490 with five family members, with the 60 months (or more) that it’s expected to run, then, guess what, you’ve got a home appliance that costs only P81.63 per month per person. Expensive?

Third, it’s an I-can-use-it-anytime-I-want machine. Remember the whole day and night rain last December 30? A Saturday? Early that morning, several exercise alternatives juggled in my mind. But I couldn’t do any of them.

No, I couldn’t run at The Family Park in Talamban, where my wife and I enjoy the sweat amidst tall trees and fresh air. No, I couldn’t play tennis with my tennis buddies Fabby Borromeo or Macky Michael or James Dumoran.

But you know what my final answer was? “No problem.”

Because with the treadmill, it’s 365/24/7. It’s ready to be banged upon at 12 noon when it’s too bright for tennis or at 12 midnight when it’s too dark for golf. The treadmill is my “No-problem” companion.

Fourth—and I’ve saved the best reason for last—is the sweat. I’ve swung a golf 7-iron, played tennis for the past 21 years, dropped a heavy ball on the parquet floor called tenpin bowling, smashed the shuttlecock on the badminton rectangle… and here’s my conclusion:

Running feels good. It’s free. It’s free air. It’s one of the best ways to exercise. It’s good for the heart. It makes your
tummy smaller—and prevents enemies from commenting, “she looks four months pregnant!” When you run, it’s those 30 minutes when problems disappear and you feel refreshed and renewed after the sweat. On a treadmill, all alone, maybe with an iPod Shuffle clipped to your ears, it’s your personal time to think. To meditate. To reflect. To pray.

Now, I know that Christmas has passed. And maybe this article should have been written last Dec. 14, before you spent that 13th month pay for a box of Cool Waters Cologne or before you bought a Christmas present for your wife, dad or daughter.

Well, here’s a good reason to buy that treadmill: It’s the new year. Believe me—and neither Chris Sports nor Toby’s, as of 8:30 last night, hasn’t promised me yet that 15 percent commission for advertising this—I guarantee it, if you make that jump on a buying a treadmill, you’ll be a new you this new year. This ‘007, you never know, you might look like Daniel Craig, Casino Royale’s ‘007.

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