Buyer’s Remorse 002: a gym stepper

A monthly snapshot of crap we regret spending money on.

AS TOLD TO: Moya Lothian-Mclean

Name: James

What: A gym stepper

Price: £10

Source of remorse?: The phys­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a fail­ure to be a bet­ter me

In 2011, I moved into my first ever shared house and was gal­vanised by the mile­stone to imme­di­ate­ly become suit­ably adult in all areas of my life. I want­ed, sim­ply, to get my shit togeth­er and I would start with the most impor­tant aspect of all: my phys­i­cal appear­ance. Noth­ing tastes as good as being a con­ven­tion­al­ly accept­able body shape, amirite?! 

To make good on this goal, I’d need the nec­es­sary advanced equip­ment. In a New­cas­tle char­i­ty shop, I spot­ted the gym step­per and imme­di­ate­ly had a taste of the supe­ri­or world that await­ed. Here was the por­tal of trans­for­ma­tion. With the step­per in my life, I would final­ly achieve the opti­mum ver­sion of me, with bet­ter men­tal health blah blah blah, but main­ly ABS!!! I was delight­ed to have acquired such a sophis­ti­cat­ed piece of tech for the hum­ble price of £10.

I think that’s for, like, elder­ly peo­ple with heart con­di­tions,” one of my bemused flat­mates chirped as I lugged it through the door. I pooh-poohed their naysaying. 

Sad­ly, upon eager­ly hop­ping onto the step­per for the first time, I realised it allowed for almost no car­dio­vas­cu­lar exer­tion what­so­ev­er. True to its name, it was just step­ping… from side to side. Fail­ing to break a sweat, I realised my quest for self-improve­ment was clear­ly futile and I was doomed to remain the same drug-abus­ing, chain-smok­ing, hard-drink­ing mess forever.

I nev­er set foot on the step­per again. Instead, it became a malev­o­lent pres­ence in my house, squat­ting in the cor­ner as an unwant­ed reminder of my inabil­i­ty to fol­low through on any­thing, even when it came from a sin­cere and burn­ing desire to improve myself. Not only was the step­per a glar­ing bea­con of my own stu­pid­i­ty – buy­ing gym equip­ment made for old peo­ple, think­ing it was going to get me ripped – it was also evi­dence that per­haps I wasn’t real­ly com­mit­ted to this whole thriv­ing’ idea. After all, I could have joined a gym. Instead I went rustling through the donat­ed pos­ses­sions of what was prob­a­bly a deceased old man. Maybe he’d died on the step­per. It was a dread­ful thought.

After a year, I final­ly binned the beast, in the dead of night. There was no cer­e­mo­ny or last rites. Only a good­bye to a youth­ful dream of a bet­ter man. And my tenner.

00:00 / 00:00