Future Fitness | Flash Fiction

“Ten quid’s a real bargain for a treadmill. There something wrong with it?”

“We just want rid of it really — not bothered about the money. I mean, it’s a bit temperamental, but it works on the whole.”

“What do you mean?”

“Sometimes the speed setting gets stuck. You have to have someone switch it off at the plug, or just jump off it. No big deal. You could probably get someone to have a look at it, get it fixed.”

“Right. I dunno, mate.”

“Go on. You drove all this way to look at it. Tell you what, I’ll let it go for a fiver. How about it?”

At home he donned his tracksuit bottoms and his trainers and he psyched himself up for his January journey to fitness.

He began with a stroll, speed set to minimum, and it wasn’t long until his heart was pounding and sweat was beading on his forehead.

“Power through,” he told himself, and he mashed at the control pad to increase the speed.

He made it up to a jog. His throat grew dry and his legs burned. He thought about the ice cold beers in his fridge and the pizza place menu on the kitchen counter.

“Power through,” he told himself, and he hiked up the speed once more, just to prove to himself that he could do it.

He hadn’t run anywhere in years. He couldn’t even remember the last time his legs had moved so fast. His heart hammered and his lungs wheezed and the sweat began to pour from every inch of his skin.

“Can’t power through. Don’t want a heart attack,” he told himself, as his tacky fingers pressed desperately at the control pad.

Nothing happened. The speed wouldn’t drop…

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