Friday, March 26, 2010

Exercise in Futility

Overcoming bad habits takes the same steps.

1.  Recognizing there is a problem.
2.  Hoping the problem will go away on its own.
3.  Thinking good thoughts when step #2 doesn’t work.
4.  Work.

Two steps would make more sense but let’s be honest, we all have to throw in the extra two steps in the middle. 

Step #3 has been quite successful for my weight loss in the last couple months but it was time to move on.  I missed Julio, the name I gave my EA Active Wii Fit trainer.  He looks nothing like a Julio but it’s an inside joke so I call him that.  By the middle of the workout I was not calling him Julio anymore!

The workout started out really well.  I had great form and Julio agreed.  I was sweating and breathing hard but I was getting the job done.  Yeah!  I was doing something good for myself and it felt great. 

Julio made me do a set of 16 squats.  Easy.  Then he made me do some lunges.  I hate lunges but I concentrated on my form and did each one as if it were the first.  What’s next Julio?  Fast kick ups. 

Fast kick ups are when you run in place while kicking your legs high enough to kick your own behind.  The person I created to look similar to myself does the same motion around a simulated track.  After a long set of squats followed by a long set of lunges, fast kick ups make me want to die.  There is no regular running.  No resting.  Just fast kick ups for what feels like three miles. 

My lungs were burning.  My legs of steel felt nothing like steel.  More like soupy Jell-O.  I panted for a while after the exercise was over before pushing the button to move onto the next. 

Thankfully it was an arm exercise.  As I finished the last rep, Julio said, “That got your heart rate up!  Nice!”  I wanted to shout back, “Dude!  My heart hasn’t slowed down from the track!”  But my concentration was all on continuing to breathe in and out.

I did another round of squats and two different types of lunges before I got to rest while working on my arms again.  All I could think of was the Friends episode where Rachel tells Joey that her gynecologist tried to kill her.  My trainer, a cartoon, was some sort of hit man in gray sweats and a tight T-shirt.  Nobody’s abs and pecs look like that in a T-shirt!

Somehow the torture ended.  I kept eying my bed and the futon in my room, wondering which one was closer to collapse on while my lungs exploded. 

Instead I grabbed my big, green, rubber fitness ball.  I could only get through two sets of 10 sit ups.  Good heavens!  How bad of shape am I actually in? 

My husband was working from home today, thank goodness.  I told him to get 911 on speed dial.  I was coming down to get some water.  I laid on the couch while my entire body trembled.  The only part of my body that was not emitting audible screams from torn muscles were my eyelashes. 

Happy first day of exercising.  Too bad it was an exercise in futility because I can only imagine the pain if I have to do this again tomorrow!


  1. You are so funny. I am exhausted just reading your post. I think the Wii should add a section where you get to punch out the trainer.

  2. I got to do some boxing today. And I imagined Julio's face on every target. When I punched the bag, I imagined it was him. When the bag fell down at the end of the exercise I felt better.

  3. Hi Tristan,

    My preference would be to stop at step two. Wouldn't life be a piece of cake if that was all it took?

    I have to agree with Dawn. Julio needs to chill on your first day back. Whew, I'm winded!

    I remember a spring day a few years ago when we went to play tennis after work. My body was just coming out of winter hibernation, so I was looking forward to the easy workout. After all, we were playing doubles. How hard could that be?

    I quickly discovered that I was horribly out of shape. I got winded in the first set. My friends? Well, they had a great time laughing at my pitiful self.

    After a time-out, things got better, but I knew that I had a lot of work ahead of me. Ray

  4. I agree, Ray. Julio needs to chill. I was painfully aware that he is a cartoon and has no idea I have been on a 2-3 month exercise vacation. Your friends may have laughed but at least they can understand that it was your first tennis match of the season.

    Have you ever played tennis on the Wii? That's fun. No skills required there although my husband is a good tennis player in real life and it shows even in Wii.

    My favorite part of the EA Active Wii Fit is the random commentary. Julio will say something like, "Good job working up a sweat. That's real." It reminds me that I am killing myself in a simulated world at the sadistic hands of Julio the cartoon trainer!

  5. No, I've never tried any of the Wii games (I know, it's like I'm from the dark ages).

    As long as Julio's comments remain positive, it's good. If he starts to get mean , you can always unplug 'em.


Now that I've shared my thoughts, what are your thoughts?