Sunday, November 6, 2011

How To Make Staying Active More Difficult

Ten easy steps to making it more difficult to stay active

Steps 1 - 10:
Buy a Wii

Wheeeee! A Wii!

After years of longing and pining and coveting and making responsible financial decisions (right), I finally broke down and did it. I've upgraded from my Sega Genesis. 

Sega Genesis. Yes, I still have it. Yes, it still works perfectly (only child, remember). And yes, it's still awesome.

Minesweeper, the devil.
On a whim last night, after playing Minesweeper on my iPhone for a good half hour (man I'm lame), I got up and went to Best Buy, then Walmart, then back to Best Buy (checking my options) and purchased a Wii. This was at 9 p.m., mind you. I got home, put it together and played until nearly midnight.

Talk about a wild and crazy Saturday night. And, being "fall back" night, it was the longest party night of the year, to boot. I live the fabulous life, obviously.

And thus beginneth the struggle between sitting on my couch playing the New Super Mario Bros and getting off my butt to go to the gym.

New Super Mario Bros. for Wiiiiii!

There's good news though! I tried a step aerobics class this morning at the new gym and ...


I loved it! I loved the music. The instructor was really good. My muscles seemed to remember many of the standard moves from the 10-ish months I spent taking step aerobics at the gym I belonged to before this running business started. And I had F-U-N, fun! I was doing better than some of the folks in the class that had clearly been there a few times. Woot!

Here's a Reebok step just like the ones we use in class. This one has two risers (purple things) under it.

Here's the cool part. I started with just the step (the green part of the picture above) because that's what I used when I took the classes previously. I once tried to use a set of purple risers, but had to remove them halfway through the class. The step alone was pretty intense for me then. And since I hadn't taken a step class in so long, I figured I should get my groove back in the easiest way possible. 

Good choices on my part.

But guess what. From the time I took my last step class till this morning, apparently I've gotten much fitter! Hot damn, running works!

The single step was SUPER easy for me. I was able to regulate my breath so easily, my legs felt really good (they were getting a workout, but certainly not a difficult one), and I know that I could have done the class with a set of risers underneath the step. 

Besides the whole "I used to only be able to run 60 seconds at a time--if that--and now I can run for 10, 15, 20 minutes straight" thing, this has been the most obvious sign of my growth and success over the last, oh, 20 months.

I'm friggin' fit, y'all!

Okay, clearly I'm not as fit as I need to be in order to be a healthy individual, but dude, that's a huge deal! I can SEE this. I can FEEL this. I remember what it was like before and I have seen what it's like after.

Yes, losing 40 pounds (and then putting another 8 back on in the last few months) is a big measurement success, and seeing the different sized clothes in my closet helps me see the before and after, but nothing has been as blatantly obvious to me as today's experience in that step class. Having stopped taking class and starting it again--that's how I can see success.

I know I can't just do step class though. I'm starting to feel at home at the gym. I'm still too intimidated to lift weights with the meatheads though. I know what I'm doing, but those dudes are just--ugh. And the hardcore chicks are intimidating too. I'm giving myself time to get into a groove, to establish habits, and then I'll make my way to the weights. But the treadmill in the "cardio cinema" is great, and the classes are promising (I might even try spinning). 

The battle this winter between the Wii and the gym should be pretty epic. I'm relying on you all to remind me that there is a life outside of my apartment.


  1. WAY TO GO!! That is a huge sign of progress! Jess used to teach step, so I really got into it back at Purdue when I took her classes.

  2. Sounds like you're having fun with training again! ("Training" rather than "exercise" sounds more significant and less chore-related somehow.) Congrats! Glad you're enjoying the gym experience.

    And congrats on getting a Wii! Video games can be the enemy of working out/running. Me, I try to reward my activity with game time. "If I get out there and run, even though I don't feel like it, I can play games the rest of the night. DEAL!"

  3. Ha, I didn't notice at first that this encompassed all steps 1-10. Smart. :P

    You could buy some exercise-ish stuff for the Wii! I bought Zumba ... like a month ago ... and it's still in the box. Oops. I know I've read about people who work out exclusively through their Wii or whatever and it totally works. I'd like to be one of those people. If only it could also walk the dogs.

    And I feel your pain about the meatheads and whatever at the gym ... I joined Urban Active when it was at Skytop but that one closed a year ago and now I'm at the one in Hyde Park (*tear*). It's fine, but I always hit traffic getting there and some of the people there are just ... ugh ... too pretty while working out, or strutting, or whatever they're doing, I'm pretty sure I roll my eyes and give dirty looks (unintentionally) several times at that gym, but whatever. It's a gym, you do your thing and I'll do mine.

    If you try spinning, let me know what you think. I've always wanted to try it but never have! And congrats on your accomplishments - very, very impressive, and who knows, maybe you could find a step Wii game??? :)

  4. Oh! I have that step! Purple risers and all. :)