Camino minus 25 – Wii train for the Big Day

The rain that was supposed to hit yesterday didn’t come in until last night. Today it is rain, rain, rain. So today I trained inside.

I use my Wii Fit program.

I start with 15 minutes of yoga. Yoga fanatics will be upset about my doing so little. But it’s beneficial, enjoyable, and taxing.

I like doing yoga in the privacy of my own home. I can stumble around and lose balance without losing face. I don’t have to worry about what view of me the tight bodies on either side (or, heaven forbid, behind me) are getting. And, sorry, I do feel badly when I can’t flip around and touch body parts in highly contorted ways like the people on the other mats.

They serenely breath in and out as if they are watching a movie. I huff, puff and sweat like a heavy smoker who has just lumbered up five flights of stairs.

And that’s just for the opening warm ups.

At one yoga class I attended, the teacher led the class in the cool down exercise which was –  of course, what else – standing on one’s head.  The few, pitiful,  beginners were allowed to use the wall for support. Crawling over on my hands and knees, with my fogged-up glasses slipping down my sweat covered nose and my vapor-filled water bottle clenched between my teeth, so that I could simply sit  with my back against the wall, was enough of a cool down exercise for me.

But don’t get me wrong. I like yoga. I’m doing yoga to improve my posture and balance. I know it will help me very much as I make my way up mountain passes with an unaccustomed  weight on my back. I do not want to be one of those who twist an ankle, or worse, and have to call the whole thing off before I really begin.

After yoga, I move on to my least favorite exercises, Wii or no Wii – strength. Sadly, the Wii doesn’t really provide much for upper body strength. You’re mainly on the honor system.

Except for push-ups. Those you can do on the Wii and I do, although I skip the accompanying side plank. My excuse is that I don’t have enough room in the apartment to do push-ups and side planks together, but I know if I had an empty apartment, I still wouldn’t do it.

The rest of the strength work-out is good.

Then, aerobics. Unfortunately, I can’t do my favorite aerobic exercise on the Wii, which is running. Yes, running for the Wii. You don’t use the balance board but hold the controller in your hand and it keeps track of your speed. I can’t do it here, though, because we have the world’s squeakiest floors.

If you’ve lived in Japan, you may be familiar with the idea of  “nightingale floors.” The story is that, in the days of the Shoguns and the early Emperors, floors were deliberately left to squeak so people could hear someone (i.e. Ninjas!!) approaching. This could also serve as a great excuse for shoddy craftsmanship and/or high humidity on wooden floors and keep you from having to honorably kill yourelf.

As an alarm system, it certainly works in our apartment. The business downstairs knows when I get up, when I head into the kitchen, when I sit at the desk, etc. I can’t have them hearing me run with the Wii.

Instead I do hula hoops and step aerobics. Very, very silly and looks childishly easy. However, I have yet to get a perfect score, so I guess it’s harder than it seems.

Lastly, the balance games. They have several, The first is a soccer game where you head the ball and other things that your “teammates” hurl at you. Somehow, I consistently miss the soccer balls they throw and  always get konked on the head by the shoes they toss.

Another balance activity is the ski jump. Let’s not go into details, since it looks easier that sitting down – all you have to do is pretend to jump. Yet, I’m a total Olympic-sized weenie.

To finish off my inside work out, I found a step machine at the thrift shop about three weeks ago. It’s small but powerful, has hydraulic lifts, and an electronic counter. Also, it sways slightly from side to side, I guess to mimic your natural motion if you were actually walking up steps.

I step on and turn on the DVD player. I watch an episode of “The Simpsons” or “Curb your Enthusiasm.” Both work well to take my mind off the monotony of stepping in place in my apartment.

When I’m finish, I’m drenched.

I’m ready for a nice glass of whine.


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