Running with the Cardio-Bots

I walk into the gym, and there they are, the cardio-bots, half human, half machine, eyes fixed on banks of televisions and ears glued to iPods as they scale imaginary mountains or jog down simulated country roads. How driven they seem, how profoundly self-conscious. Digital monitors strapped around their biceps register their blood pressures and heart rates as their tissues absorb L-glutamine-laced protein drinks that taste like the sort of thing computers would drink if computers got thirsty. And though there must be 30 cardio-bots, lifting their sinewy thighs in unison as their StairMasters and treadmills tick off the number of...

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