I don't mind admitting it: my once god-like body, nut-brown and taut, has devolved into a gelatinous structure of mayonnaise-like consistency over the last two years.
It's my career: I am a blogger. My lifestyle is sedentary. Every day, I wake up groggily at noon, ready for another thrilling day filled with adventure. By 12:05, my gastropoidal bulk begins its day's suppuration against the moist, stenching fabric of my office chair. By 12:10, I have cracked open the first beer of the day. And from 12:10 to approximately 2:00pm? The only caloric expenditure is my own rapid digital cycling between Control+C and Control+V.
So I joined a gym a few weeks ago. Since I live in Germany but don't actually speak German, it was difficult to find a gym that could accommodate me. But eventually, I found a great one, and my physical regimen is overseen by an Aryan Achilles by the name of Andreas.
Andreas is a riot. Because he often does not know the English names of the exercises he wants me to perform, he identifies them by the name of the Rocky film in which they first appeared. And when it came time to measure my body fat, he had me grab the digital BMI meter with two hands for ten seconds. Examining it afterwards, he arched one eyebrow cynically, declared the reading a gross underestimate and then, without looking, tossed it over his shoulder in an effortless arc to land in a trash can behind him. He's a good yegg, Andreas.
When I met with Andreas for the first time, he asked me — in an incredulous manner indicating that he well knew the answer must be "no" — if I'd ever exercised before. In truth, though, I had. Two years and thirty pounds ago, I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to a wonderful virtual fitness program called Yourself! Fitness. But I knew that informing Andreas that I had once been a muscular Adonis thanks to the tutelage of an imaginary woman who lived inside my computer would probably tax both of our skills in poly-linguism.
But, you know, Andreas might have to get used to the competition of virtual trainers... particularly bobble-headed ones. Wii Fit, Nintendo's own answer to living-room personal fitness, is due out in the states on May 19th, with a street price of $89 including both the software and wireless balance board accessory. I'm not likely to grab it — I've learned from experience that without having the routine of going to the gym, I'm likely to procrastinate a day's work out indefinitely — but I really am glad to see more video game companies try to whip flab-beasts like me into shape. As the ten pounds I've lost in two weeks of admittedly strenuous exercise shows, there's simply no reason in the world why getting in shape needs to come at the cost of a twelve-month, no-money-back commitment.