I’m very happy my gym has flat panel tv’s called Cardio Theater hooked up to all cardio equipment so I can watch cnn, espn, or sometimes cnbc while either running or exercising on the elliptical trainer. I am not very happy, though, at how crappy and unreliable the Cardio Theaters seem to be. I would say at any given time 30% of the tv’s are busted at the NYSC down the street from me. I honestly don’t get how a 12 inch flat panel tv hooked up to regular cable could be broken so easily. Yes they get a lot of wear and tear, but I mean come on…
Anyway, while at the gym today exercising on an elliptical I noticed the tv on the machine next to me was not working properly because it was still on, despite the fact no one was using it. If you’ve never used the Cardio Theater, it turns off (it’s supposed to) when it does not have headphones (and a person) plugged in. It was during the rush hour time, so in a matter of 40 or so minutes I saw probably 15 people do the same thing…come up to the machine, plug in their headphones, try and change the channel once or twice, and walk away in disgust. Since this is the peak of rush hour at the gym, this machine was really the only one open. If you wanted to use the elliptical trainer and watch tv, this was it. The thing that amazed me was just how many people walked up, tried to change the channels, and quickly assumed there was nothing else they could do. I understand that because these things stink and are constantly broken, the best assumption to make would be there is nothing else you can do. But how many times do we throw away an opportunity to learn and grow because we quickly assume there is nothing else we can do (obviously this isn’t that big of a deal unless you REALLY wanted to watch TV while exercising. but it’s a fixable problem nonetheless)?
Anyway, I ended up taking a quick look at the machine and realized the “remote” had simply been unplugged. I plugged it in, and the tv went off. Problem solved, and I’ve learned that you can listen to your ipod and watch tv at the same time by simply unplugging the “remote.” Next time a machine is seemingly busted during “rush hour,” I’ll have an idea on how to fix it.
Watching these people made me think about how many moments in my life I was in too big of a hurry to learn. You’re surrounded by opportunities disguised as problems. If you look at a problem in the same way as everyone, as those 15 people did, you’ll get the same results. Don’t assume you can’t fix it.