Tread on me all you want

When we were kids, Christmas lists were often comprised of toys and playthings that would keep us busy for hours. Somewhere along the line, we saw fewer toys underneath the tree and more clothes, gadgets and, if you’re me, household items.

However, this year is the return of the toy.

Back on Black Friday, I was doing a little online shopping (I refuse to step foot in a big-box store the day following Thanksgiving) and stumbled across an incredible one-day sale on something I’d been going back and forth on buying for quite some time: a treadmill.

You see, while I love running, I’m slightly fair-weather about it. I get too scared running in the dark alone, and I’m not one for tip-toeing around snow piles and slush puddles – here in Milwaukee, winter means it’s dark at 4pm and snowy sidewalks are unavoidable. So, with PRs to cross off in the 2012 running season, either I had to suck it up or invest in a machine to help me along.

So when I saw that the Pro-Form Performance 1450, a treadmill that has received rave reviews for its price range, was being offered for 60% until 3pm on black Friday only, I decided to bite the bullet. This was a Christmas present to myself. My new Christmas toy.

My toy arrived exactly one week after I’d ordered it. Eric recruited some incredibly nice coworkers to help him bring it downstairs to our basement to set up (the package was 250 pounds!). Then, the next morning we began setting it up. Seven hours later, we were done.

That’s right. It took us SEVEN HOURS to put together the contraption (granted, we took a couple sanity breaks within that time frame). And on top of that, I developed a pretty nasty migraine just 10 minutes into its assembly. Not the most joyous day of my life.

The reason it took so long to assemble is that a few of the pre-drilled holes in the machine seemed way too small for the screws the company provided in the box. We were using the right screws, the holes were just way too small. Eric tried a few different options and finally though about greasing the screws to help them go in – the combination of extra elbow grease and actual grease helped things along a bit. Unfortunately, it took us a couple of hours to realize this solution. 

I won’t go into all the dirty details, but it was a completely frustrating day and the fact that Eric and I made it through without even raising our voices at each other pretty much means we can get through anything. High fives to us.

So, let’s get into the actual fun stuff: the gadget/gizmo awesomeness of the treadmill.
The reason I refer to the Pro-Form Performance 1450 as a toy and not merely a piece of exercise equipment is that it has some fantastic toy-like gadgetry going on. It’s WiFi enabled, which means that while I’m working out I can also do a little Facebook stalking. Or do a little re-pinning on Pinterest. Or watch the latest viral video on YouTube.

You guys, the future is awesome.

Another incredible feature of my new treadmill is that it also works hand-in-hand with Google Maps. So I can just draw a running route on Google essentially anywhere in the world, choose that saved map on my treadmill, and the treadmill will automatically adjust its incline to any hills along the route – it reads the map’s topography. Guys, it's topographical

I can also use Google Street View to actually see the street-level view of where I’m running – whether it be through Central Park in NYC, along the impossibly gorgeous Road to Hana in Maui or through the streets of Copenhagen in Denmark. I’ve run all three routes, and let me say that running in “Hawaii” when it’s 15 degrees outside is prettttyyy, prettttyyy, pretttyyy incredible (even if it's only Hawaii via my 10" touchscreen monitor).

The treadmill is enabled to work with iFit Live, which is a program for registered users that includes different training programs for various-distance races, video workouts and specially-planned workouts developed by (or, more likely, marketed with their names attached) superstar trainer Jillian Michaels and, for some reason, “The View” co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. If you’re not into following a trainer’s program, iFit Live will just track your own manual treadmill workouts and keep a log of them online – pretty useful to have when I’m logging my workout onto DailyMile and need to reference my actual time and distance when I’m away from the treadmill and don't want to jot things down in a notebook afterward.

The treadmill is fantastic – although I suffered a little buyer’s remorse after actual purchase, I got it at an incredible price and it’s just going to be another great workout tool to have around the house. The way I look at it, I don’t have a gym membership, so figuring the price I would pay for that versus the total price of the Pro-Form Performance 1450, I’d have my money’s worth in less than two years. Totally worth it!

Anyway, I can try and describe the awesomeness of this treadmill in my own words, but the real selling point for me was watching this enticing video. After seeing this, I couldn’t walk away from the awesome piece of equipment. Check it out for yourself.

Whether at the gym or in your home, what’s your favorite piece of workout equipment? Obviously, mine is my new treadmill, but before that I loved working in hard spinning sessions on our bike trainer. When I had a gym membership (years ago now!) I had a love-hate relationship with the step mill (you know, those tall, rotating stairs that always seem to be empty?); it’s such a tough workout on that machine – about 10x harder than a Stairmaster, if you ask me!


  1. OK, that sounds like the coolest treadmill ever. I've been thinking about getting one for the weather is nasty out, and a walk with the stroller just won't work. Would be great for my sanity. Sorry it was such a pain to put together, but definitely looks like all the elbow grease was well worth it in the end. You're going to get a lot of use out of your new toy!

  2. @HEAB
    Heather, it's been awesome so far! Just having the WiFi option takes so much of boredom out of treadmill running. I'll always prefer running outside, but this will be a game changer this winter :)


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