Rude Machines stationary bike was very rude to me this morning.

I have been less than faithful in getting to the gym as often as I intend to, so I felt pretty good about myself when I made it my first priority this morning.  I did my usual walk around the track, then I did ten minutes on a rowing machine before getting on the bike. Usually, I just do a regular twenty minutes on the bike before I use the weight-resistance machines, but today I thought I’d do something a little different.  I told the bike’s computer to give me a fitness test.

I put in my age and weight, and right away it starting tracking my pace on phase one of the test. It didn’t tell me how many phases there were, so that was a bit of a mystery. Should I pace myself for three phases or ten? No idea. Just keep pedaling.

The first phase was, predictably, quite easy. The second phase was a little bit harder, but I was still doing OK, I thought. Then phase three was odd. It was alternately difficult then easy to pedal, repeatedly. By this time the difficult pedaling was still do-able until I was startled by a message that said something like, “You are too slow. Keep within the 60-80 RPM range!”

“How rude!” I thought. There was nothing encouraging or even polite about the way that was phrased. I think it was the exclamation point that annoyed me the most. No-one talks to nice older ladies like that, even in a gym.

As I was thinking this, I momentarily stopped pedaling. I wanted to re-read those imperative sentences to make sure I hadn’t misread them. But it seems you can’t do that during a fitness test.  The machine thinks you have quit, and then it gets really annoyed.

At that point, it told me that my results were completely unsatisfactory and that I was “Well Below Average” for someone in the 60-100 year age range. Really? I certainly am not well below average by anyone’s judgement, especially my own.

In fact, machine, I would like to know more about how you come up with your data. Just how many 100-year-olds have taken this test? None? I’m not surprised.  How about 90-year-olds? Hmmm. Just as I thought. You are making this up as you go along.

As a got off the machine and wandered over to the weight-resistance machines, it occurred to me that I had just done the world a big favour.  From now on it will be just a little bit easier for other seniors to be above average. I have lowered the bar for us all.

You are welcome.



Image source: Public Domain Pictures


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