A couple of months I had been told by my doctors that running was no longer something my body could tolerate. I had promised my wife if I was ever told by a doctor to stop running, I would. I never really thought that day would come, but since it has, I have to keep that promise.
Today I’m happy to tell you that I am now running again, but I haven’t broken the promise I made to my wife!
How is that possible? A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my friend Tonja at Health Styles Exercise Equipment. She wanted to thank me for sending folks her way when they would ask me about my ElliptiGO (which is now sold by Performance Bicycles). But she also wanted to tell me about a new piece of equipment from Octane Fitness called the “Zero Runner.” The Zero Runner basically suspends the “runner” in air on foot pads and has hip and knee joints that allow the runner to replicate a natural, fluid running motion without the impact of running on a traditional treadmill. It’s a weight-bearing exercise without impact, and since the impact is the thing my doctors want me to avoid, the Zero Runner is perfect for me.
Tonja called me as soon as a Zero Runner was on-site and available for me to try out. I headed out with the Lovely Linda (my wife of 32 years) and we both gave it a try. I was hooked right away and, to my surprise, so was Linda! But this is no cheap toy, and at a dollar shy of $3,300, it’s a serious investment not to be taken lightly. Surprising me a second time that day, Linda was as interested in hearing more about the Zero Runner as I was. We took delivery last Wednesday.
One of my favorite features of the Zero Runner is that it’s human powered. Instead of a motor setting the pace for you to keep up with, you are the sole motivator and make the machine work via your own muscle strength, as if you were actually on a run. The feel is natural and more instinctive than any treadmill I’ve ever run on, and there is definitely a learning curve. After some initial awkwardness, however, everyone gets the hang of it pretty quickly. It’s got a nifty display with numbers and information that seems to float on a clear piece of glass in front of you. It’s also got handles that move with your legs and keep your arms bent at a perfect-running-form ninety degree angle at waist height. You can also choose to hold on to a pair of fixed handles. I felt the most comfortable doing this, and soon found myself letting go of the right handle, my arm immediately settling into a natural swinging motion. It felt awesome! Try one out.