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See Something, Say Something?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017



An older lady (68 years old, give or take 5 and not a fitness maven) got on the treadmill next to mine at the gym this morning. She made it clear she did not want to be social (unusually standoffish) which is fine. I finished by 2.5-mile jog/walk inside my headphones and watching the news, per usual.

At one point I happened to glance down at my own digital read out as well has hers. She was holding the heart-rate monitor handles the whole time and hers said over 180 beats per minute. I can read that age-based cardio chart and know that at my exceedingly-young 56 years I'm not supposed to raise mine above about 144 bpm or so.

Her 180+ bpm seemed crazy to the point of dangerous. And I know the treadmills are reasonably accurate. So, what do you do? Chat the lady up who already made it abundantly clear that she thinks I'm considerably creepier than Hannibal Lechter, do nothing, or some third thing? What would you do?

What I did was finish my workout and go to the front desk. I reported by observations to the college girl who was working there this morning. She asked me to tell one of the personal trainers (which required me to interrupt their session with their client). The trainer said she would "check on it."

Later, while leaving I ran into the same trainer again and apologized for interrupting her client session momentarily but I felt obliged to tell someone as I would want a bystander to do if my own Mom had been observed doing something potentially dangerous at the gym (as if...). The trainer merely said, "that's okay."

So, was I wrong? The trainer's attitude leads me to so believe.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SMOKY_TEA
    You did the right thing. There was not enough information to call 911, but abundant to seek the professionals at the gym. Even if the treadmill was broken, they needed to know. You get a Good Citizen award from me!
    1172 days ago
  • PHEBESS
    You did the right thing - absolutely. (I'd have done the same thing.)

    We're all in this together, right? That means watching out for strangers as well as people we know.
    1240 days ago
  • ECOAGE
    I've been ignoring most age-related guidelines on everything for decades.

    Personally, I'd rather have someone share information with me if they thought I was in danger. That's different than chatting away which I too would perceive as intrusive if I was trying to get up to speed on the treadmill.

    Not wanting to be sociable is a distinctly different situation than not being able to talk. Can we assume from your description that this (NOT so old) lady wasn't gasping, panting, or looking like she was in discomfort ... but was running or walking at a fast pace? I think it's best to judge amount of potential danger by more than a number (age, treadmill monitor, etc.).
    1240 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    I will play devil's advocate. emoticon Was she new to the gym scene, or was she possibly a regular? She may not have looked like a "fitness maven" but that does not mean she is not fit. As good as your intentions may have been, she may/does see them as intrusive. When I was younger (much) I was in really good shape. I lifted weights, a lot, and regularly ran the treadmill with heart rate in the 180's. Not something I would recommend to others to do, but for me, I had no trouble handling it. And it depends on how long you are in this range, as well. It's good you mentioned this to the trainer, and not to her directly, your conscience should be clear. Some gyms take very good care of their older clientele, while others only see them as a quick $.
    1241 days ago
  • DISNEYDAMSEL1
    You completely did the right thing. I believe in many cases the right thing is actually uncomfortable because ignoring something is so much easier.
    1241 days ago
  • IAMAGEMLOVER
    You did what you felt was right. That is what counts Mark.
    1241 days ago
  • STRIVERONE
    75/25 she was fine and knows her own limits, but better to feel a little uncomfortable about involving yourself than guilty because you did nothing and heard that she died on a treadmill. I'm with you on this one.
    1241 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Heck no, you weren't wrong!!! It's too bad that woman was so peckish. BUT reporting the observation could potentially have saved her life if she started having problems. I would have felt badly if I didn't report it.


    1242 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    You made your own decision. I would have let her be.. she obviously only wanted attention from paramedics.
    1242 days ago
  • WORLDSERIES11
    You did the right thing!! emoticon
    1242 days ago
  • WORLDSERIES11
    You did the right thing!! emoticon
    1242 days ago
  • no profile photo L_DROUIN
    No. You did the right thing!!! The world would be a better and happier place if more people did the right thing.I would have liked to know that someone was looking out for my mother if she had needed it,..(but the people who should have been the most concerned for her thought it was funny.) Mom was in a potentially dangerous situation and scared when alone in her own home and for a reason, yet they thought it was funny.....I was shocked!!,
    1242 days ago
  • 1HAPPYSPIRIT
    I would have been just like you. Be content....you did what many of us would have done.
    1242 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Too bad good intentions not always perceived as such. Be content to know that you tried to assist a fellow human being.
    1242 days ago
  • SAMMEB17
    I believe u were in the right. I would have done the same thing!
    1242 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    You did the right thing.
    1242 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17815051
    I would have done the same thing. I don't believe it was the wrong decision.
    1242 days ago
  • NANCYPAT1
    Good message
    1242 days ago
  • TWEDEE777
    Ummm No. You did the right thing. Hope they helped her.
    1242 days ago
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