January 19th, 2005

Curiosity: Satisfied!

I have a personal trainer now. Her name is Maya, and she’s the exact right mix of pushy and nice. The best part is, when I’m tired of her, I can put her away.

Meet Maya. (I did not write that review.)

How weird is that? A fitness program on a videogame console. It’s like being able to check your cholesterol at McDonald’s. Here are two activities that could not be more disparate, joined in some kind of weirdly correct way.

When you put the disc in the first time, you set up an account and put in your height, weight, birthday, and name. Then she (I could say “the program,” but it’s easier just to say “she,” okay?) has you do a few things to test what level you are – pushups, crunches, and jumping jacks. I haven’t done jumping jacks in 15 years! It’s all to get a base level reading so she knows what you need to work on.

Turns out Maya thinks I’m fat. Once I finished my stack of cookies and was able to talk clearly, I wholeheartedly agreed with her. So I’m set up on this weight-loss program that will certainly interfere with my resolution to put on five pounds this year. She had me set up a commitment level (six days a week) and how much I wanted to lose (she even surpressed a giggle when I told her, I think, which was nice). Then she said, “See you on Tuesday for your next workout!”

Fine. I can wait until Tuesday. But what’s this? A relaxation mode? Let’s see what that is. I’ve been a little stressed lately, and some relaxation could be good. Well, I’m sure some relaxation would be good, but I’ll never know. Turns out Maya’s version of relaxing is “twist in ways you never have before and try to keep your balance while doing it.” In other words: yoga. I’m trying to watch her do these things while at the same time trying to do them myself, but I can’t do both because I have to look away from the TV for most of them. On top of that, she’s telling me to breathe correctly. I have apparently been going about this breathing thing all wrong my whole life. It’s too much and I can’t do it. I’m huffing and puffing and not relaxing at all. And these yoga positions have such odd names, too. “Down dog.” “Mountain.” “Crocodile.” “Corpse.” I thought about putting in some fake ones, but the real ones are goofy enough. My favorite so far is “corpse.” It’s pretty easy. I’d tell you how to do it, but I am not qualified to be a trainer yet, and I don’t want to be liable for your injuries.

I’ve done two actual workouts with her since all of the relaxing. I’m probably going to have to crank it up a little, because the only thing that’s sore on me is my shoulders. That, and after the workout is done, she tells me how many calories I burned during the workout. I’m not sure how she knows this, but it’s depressing that I do all of the stuff to burn fewer calories than are in one Ritz cracker.

At the same time, though, I’ve always done much better at working out when someone was telling me what to do and how much to do it. I’ve been looking at this program for a couple of months now. A friend of mine who goes with me on about 67% of my Best Buy trips was sick to death of me saying, “I wonder if that’s any good. I’m really curious. I think I might get that some day. It’s cheaper than a gym membership. I’ve always been better when someone’s telling me what to do.”

There’s also a section where she’ll recommend specific foods for you, but I skipped all that. I’m pretty sure Hot Pockets aren’t in her repertoire.

So far I’m glad I got it. We’ll see how long I keep up with it. Hey, even if it’s only a week (like everyone is saying it will be), I’m not out that much.

Now excuse me while I go eat some Ritz crackers for supper.

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