A Review of Falling Off the Treadmill While Trying to Stream Xbox Game Pass

Warning: Playing video games while using exercise equipment can lead to injury.

Warning 2: I knew this already before trying it.

Warning 3: Playing video games while using exercise equipment can lead to Injury, even if you knew that before trying it.

Believe it or not based on everything you’d assume about me, I have a gym membership. Even more surprising, I try to use it when I can because I’ve spent the last three years huddled in a one-bedroom apartment arguing with people on Twitter. It’s a reason to get me outside and then back inside where there's an air conditioner.

At the same time, working out is the most boring activity in the world. And before you @ me, I’m sure that your love affair with biking / jogging / lifting / swimming / climbing is fulfilling, and I’d understand it if I tried. But the thing is, I did try. And it’s boring. Exercise is boring.

So in an effort to entertain myself at the gym, I decided to bring a controller and an iPad to stream Game Pass games over the local wireless network. I then put that iPad on the treadmill, paired the controller; and I was off to the races.

The races that would end in tragedy.

My first concern was the Wi-Fi speed. Surely a gym couldn’t handle the bandwidth of streaming top quality triple-A content, right? Wrong! The network held up pretty, pretty well. I had hit the gym early in the morning, so maybe the web tubes were clear. A few frame drops and some lag once in a while but perfect for running Forza.

Well, perfect in that I didn’t realize I’m a child who shifts his entire body to the left or the right playing driving games. My center of gravity decided it had more of an emotional connection with the game than with the thousand-pound industrial conveyor belt under my feet.

I fell.

Not a bad fall! And nobody saw. So I did what anyone would do after realizing this was a dangerous mistake: I tried again.

I switched from Forza to Slay the Spire. A simple deck builder with simple graphics. Even lag wouldn’t bother me because the game is turn-based! Perhaps my hubris could be contained. I was a genius.

Except this time I was so intense that I walked too fast and stepped on the front of the belt, sending my legs back. I was able to grab a handle bar by dropping the controller which hit the belt and shot backward into a wall.

At this point, an employee of the gym said this probably wasn’t a good idea. He phrased it more along the lines of, “Please don’t do this.” He looked worried about my well-being and his inevitable annoyance of calling someone if my well-being was brought into question.

So I tried one more time. This time, I went with Citizen Sleeper. It’s basically a book. People read books on treadmills all the time. You and I, we’ve both seen them! Perhaps calm interactive novels would do the trick.

But my controller, she had no wrist strap. Sweating as one does when doing activities specifically designed to make you sweat, my hands got clammy. And baby, those clammy hands could not hold onto that controller and I dropped it again. Which caused me to look down in shock. Which caused me to fall.

I was fine. I hurt my ankle but I was alright. Like most members of my family, I’m easy to hurt but hard to kill. And if I die before this is published, I’d love the previous line removed.

What I learned was that, while tempting, streaming Xbox Game Pass at the gym while jogging on the treadmill is a bad idea. Sometimes your conclusion has to prove your hypothesis. I humiliated myself, damaged a controller, and made a gym employee worried he’d actually have to work that day. I could’ve been seriously hurt.

And then I saw an exercise bike and was like, “I’ve got an idea.”

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