goodbye university park (elliptical machine)

In June of 2014 I moved offices from way up north to “University Park,” better known as “the Longhorn Network Building.” It was a good move because it shortened my commute from 12 miles to about 4 miles, although I traded Mopac for the worst 3 miles of I-35 in the country.

Today was my last day in that building, which was pretty bland and unremarkable, although I did have my own office for much of it because my officemate so often traveled, worked from home, and eventually left the company. Goodbye office:


The part of the building I probably have the most intimate relationship with, though, wasn’t my office. No, it was the “fitness center” located in the catacombs underneath the lobby of the building.

When I was warned of an impending fracture in my femur while training for a marathon in late 2014, I replaced my long runs with long stints on the elliptical strider in the UP fitness center. Like, two hours or more, to simulate running 20 miles or more. Here’s one I found from the end of January 2015. Click through for the heart rate analysis, I was really working!

Two weeks later I ran the marathon anyway and broke my hip at the 22 mile mark, six weeks before the birth of our first child. Good times!

After surgery and six weeks on crutches I was not exactly excited about running, so I returned to the elliptical strider for exercise (along with swimming), and I’ve been logging time ever since.

According to my Strava records (which surely undercount), I’ve spent at least 50 hours on the UP catacombs elliptical strider since we moved to the building. I passed the time sweating by watching TV and movies on my phone, including Seasons 2-5 of Game of Thrones (now all up to date, thank you), Seasons 1 and 2 of “Narcos”, Season 1 of Breaking Bad (I found it intolerably slow paced so I stopped); lots of weird foreign films (mostly Asian) with subtitles that Leslie would never watch with me like “Touch of Sin”, “White Material”, and “Ong Bak”; a many many movies I just never got around to seeing  like “Sicario” and “Strange Days” and “Million Dollar Baby.”

This morning I did my last stint on the strider with the second 30 minutes of “Jackie Brown.” I will never forget the particular smell of that lonely room, or the countless hours spent before work sweating profusely, ratcheting up and down the resistance, working hard but going nowhere.

Goodbye, faithful steed.



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