Tuesday, April 05, 2005

What makes it a "revolution" anyway?

It has been over two years since I worked out on a regular basis. Something about grad school just sucks your energy away, particularly when you’re also working full-time. Because of this, my body has started to resemble a potato (regardless of how you spell it). Granted, I’m not going to be mistook for Mr. Potato Head anytime soon, but given where I as two years ago I’ve made significant progress. I realized that no matter what the media told me my current exercise regimen of web surfing, Discovery Channel viewing, and cubicle jockeying was not cutting it anymore.

Briefly, I considered joining the Dance Dance Revolution exercise craze that seems to be
sweeping the nation. But considering my complete lack of coordination I suspect that my getting involved with a game that required that much foot action would only result in aggravated injury. I know, I know – if 10-year-old fat kids in West Virginia can do it I should be able to hack it as well. But I’m still hesitant…because my center of gravity is much higher than theirs…and…um…stuff. Plus, it’s a vinyl floor mat and is supposed to be played in stocking feet! If that’s not a liability issue then I don’t know what is. I mean I know how far I can slip across my hardwood floors in stocking feet only (about 8-9 feet depending on how much velocity I get up running down my hallway) so I can’t imaging how unstable I’d be on surfaces as near frictionless as vinyl.

Speaking of foot-activated video games, how is it that DDR becomes a global phenomenon, whereas Track and Field for ye olde Nintendo NES is barely a blip on the radar of popular video game culture? Doesn’t anyone recall the old “
Power Pad” accessory that you could use to actually run races against computerized communist opponents? Admit it, if you know what I’m talking about you totally cheated anyway and pounded the pad with your fists while kneeling next to it in order to achieve speeds in the 100 meters that not even a pimped out ’78 Cutlass could reach. My theory is that Track and Field failed because it was too much like exercise. I mean everyone knows that track and field events are “athletic”. Plus, T&F doesn’t feature the additional benefit of providing entertainment for bemused onlookers. I’m convinced that DDR is so popular not because it’s fun, but rather because it lets your friends make fun of your complete lack of coordination while preventing you from retaliating with physical violence (because then you’d lose the game).

Anyway. Given that DDR won’t work for me and that I’d only succumb to the temptation for cheating were I to Ebay for T&F, I joined the gym that work sponsors yesterday. I’m going in this afternoon for my “fitness assessment” and first workout, which I suspect will consist of them putting me in a giant hamster wheel until I vomit blood and start tumbling over and over like a load of forgotten laundry in a dryer. Should be fun stories galore to share tomorrow. I can’t wait.

P.S. – I found
this story while searching for a website about the Power Pad. I laughed.

5 comments:

J.Bro said...

I enjoy the mental image of you hurtling down a (carpeted?) hallway toward a measuring tape laid out on the hardwood floor.

I used to play NES Track & Field at my friend Harlan's house. His Dad managed the bank, and they were the wealthiest family I knew -Harlan had one of the first Nintendos I'd ever seen. We used to cheat in the long jump by jumping off the mat.

Spice said...

The "story" reminded me of the religious video game Rod and Todd play on The Simpsons... "Convert the heathen!"

grrrbear said...

You mean "Billy Graham's Bibile Blasters"? Totally awesome game. I wish someone would actually make it...

"You only winged him. Now he's a Unitarian."

J.Po said...

Dude. Try ballet. It totally works for me and you'll find your center of gravity within a week. Plus, it doesn't feel like exercise and there are lots of women (and men) in leotards.

Sophist said...

Have you ever seen Yourself!Fitness? It's some kind of game/personal trainer for Xbox, Playstation, and probably other gaming devices.

It looks pretty sophisticated - there's Yoga, Pilates, strength stuff, cardio, etc., plus meal planning. And from the reviews on Amazon, it sounds like she guilts you into working out and tells you if you've missed a day. Pretty interesting, huh? Cheaper than most workout videos. Sounds kind of fun to me!

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