So I was thinking about exercising this week – which is half the battle; and when you consider that God is always on the side of half of the battlers I felt that in many ways I was already a winner and celebrated my moral victory with a couple of pizzas and a few beers. A victory not shared with my Wii fit. Surely the most hurtful of all the plastic boards I’ve ever stood on.
I thought that I could justify buying a console if it would get me doing some exercise but it turned out that it is really hard to take health pointers from a glorified scale with a voice like a member of the Lollypop Guild. It knows how old I am and yet every time I stand on it, it says the most hurtful things. If I balance like a 50 year old and exercise like a 50 year old, that doesn’t make me a 50 year old. It just makes me angry. It tells me I’m the perfect weight for my age and height, so it seems like the only reason it plays this little game is to hurt me.
I had been backed into a corner and was tired of being abused by the Wii so I started looking elsewhere for my exercise. I happened to find a workout DVD that appealed to me more than the Wii could. I like old Kung Fu movies and I approve of the concept of exercise, so when I found a Shaolin Workout DVD I thought, “finally – a system that works for me.” I was impressed to see that the trainer was Asian with a broken English accent (a must have for anyone on the path to true enlightenment in body, mind and soul – although in a pinch, a strong English accent demands a certain level of respect also). He was even wearing a traditional orange dressing-gown like they do on TV so I was pretty much sold.
He explained in his softly spoken voice that throughout the first of three one hour long workouts we’d be establishing correct breathing – which was great for me because I have always suspected that I’ve been breathing wrong up until now but was too embarrassed to ask anyone to compare techniques. We pretty much have to hit the floor running on that one and I am surprised more people haven’t questioned their form. Anyways, on we continued with our breathing and like the mighty ocean our lungs ebbed and flowed and I caught a glimpse of what it must be like to transcend.
Then after five minutes, he explained that our training could begin. I thought that our training had already begun – I’d worked up a sweat and thought I was in a pretty good place, but I was wrong. He wanted to do some stamina training and I accepted. I’d aced the breathing so sure, why not – any apprentice must struggle if he is to ever defeat his master and battle the rival dojo. It wasn’t long before I noticed an alarming similarity between my master and the Wii. His soft slow voice was now a fury of wind and fire and his words of bending reeds had snapped and now lashed at my tender bits.
Ten minutes into the workout I collapsed, a broken man. I watched on for another five minutes just in case this was one of those tests where the master must break you to make you whole again, but he didn’t; he just kept on trying to break me. I skipped ahead to the third hour and saw some pretty neat punching and kicking but realised this was way out of my league.
I realised then that it is not my body that requires exercise just yet – it’s my ego. I need to be patted on the back every step of the way. I want a high five for taking the stairs. A thumbs up for running for the bus. I want a gold star for watching Monday morning Aerobics on the television. Only then will I be ready to continue my training. Only then will I be able to shape my destiny. So until that day I will dress in my regular old dressing-gown, put my feet up on the Wii fit and watch my soap operas like every other self-disrespecting male out there.