Friday, May 29, 2009

Well, crap

I guess a person should never comment about "coming into some money." Because then something will happen to require spending of that money.

I use a NordicTrak cross-country ski simulator. It is the only exercise I'm able to keep up with - running destroys my knees, and besides, running here in town in the summer is death because it's close to 100* and sometimes as high as 60% humidity. I've tried other things but find them either boring or annoying. With the NordicTrak, I can hop on, put on some music or one of the radio talk shows, and I can usually make it through the hour without wanting to kill someone.

So I got home today and tried to use the thing. It had been acting up a bit, I thought it needed lubricating, and I tried that. That didn't help. So I gave it an inspection. One of the rollers is shot, it makes the ski "slip" at the back of the motion. Which is bad, because it's potentially stressing on the knee, and it's also very jarring and makes trying to work out unpleasant.

I called the company and talked to a not-very-knowledgable (or so it seemed to me) person who told me it would cost just over $150 to replace ONE of them (there are two). "Shouldn't I replace both at the same time?" I asked. She didn't know. (On the website, it claims that a "set" comes with 2 for $150, but it also claims they are out of stock).

I NEED this thing. I weigh enough as it is and I am unwilling to go into starvation mode to make up for the calories I am NOT burning by not exercising. And as I said, alternate forms of exercise are just not for me. Nor is joining a "Curves" or "Butterfly Fitness" (both of which exist in my town). For one thing, I'm just not a joiner. And for another - I like to work out early in the morning (like 5 am) when classes are in session, and neither place is open then.

So, crap. A Hobson's choice.

So I looked a bit further on the website. They had a "weekend special" - a new copy of what I had for just under $600, plus free shipping.

So, now I had a dilemma: spend the equivalent of half (or one-quarter, depending on whether the website or the person on the phone is right) the price of a new one for a single replacement part (there are other things on the machine that are worn but still usable; I've used this nearly daily for the past 10 years), or buy a new one.

As hard as it was for me to do (parting with that kind of a chunk of change - hell, parting with anything over $100 - is hard), I decided to order a new one. That will save me having to replace the rollers with a part that may or may not be out of stock, that will save me dealing with the worn waist-pad, that will save me from wondering when I need to replace the skis. I hate planned obsolescence but I'm telling myself 10 years is a good long run for a piece of exercise equipment.

I hope I made the right decision. I hate spending money. I'm telling myself that I didn't have my tax refund earmarked for anything AND I got paid today (and I've had a fairly cheap spring so far - nothing else has broken (and now I am crossing my fingers and spitting to ward off anything else breaking). But still, I hate spending money. The old Scrooge McDuck in my soul is groaning and saying, "Lassie, ye shoulda jes' bought the rrrrrollers."


The Fifth String said...

Aw crap. Does this mean you're not buying the drinks?

Kate P said...

Not that you asked, but I think you did the right thing. Now you have a guarantee again, right?

I don't have an inner Scrooge McDuck, although sometimes I wish I did, because I'm a typical Libra and Libras love nice things. I also think that health and sanity are valuable things, worth putting out money for, like for exercise classes and the occasional fluff magazine I can disappear into.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Oh man, ricki, I so relate!!!

Sounds like you made the right choice, too. You know what you need, in terms of exercise - and what works for you in your lifestyle ... you can't do without this thing.

But of course you get a small windfall and then of course something breaks! Isn't that the way of the world!!