Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have returned to the Wii. In fact this weekend, as I stood on the board so it could weigh me before telling me I was hopelessly overweight, my Wii pointed out that it had been 222 days since I had last used it. It's good to know that all those months of sitting in storage didn't diminish its ability to guilt trip me.

Nor did it diminish its ability to make me hurt. I was definitely rusty but I got through most of the exercises without a problem. OK, without a new problem. I always sway like a palm tree in a cyclone on those one-legged exercises. But I did especially well on the one where you just stand still and breathe, so I didn't feel I had gone completely out of shape.

Until the next morning. when I couldn't even stay in bed before dawn because some of my leg muscles were sending burning, stabbing pains deep into my dreams. Basically, it involved most of the muscles in the top half of that picture.

They continued to hurt during the day, mostly when I sat down or stood up. It surprised me how often I sit down during the day. In fact, because of the muscle pain I now realize that much of my routine involves standing up and moving in order to sit down again somewhere else.

Doing my best Homer Simpson impression, I would forget about the pain once I was seated/standing. But then, when it was time to sit down or stand up again, I would let out a spontaneous yelp -- a manly yelp, I hope, but probably not. This wasn't so bad when I sat down at the table or in an easy chair, but a little embarrassing getting in and out of the car in a parking lot. I imagine it would have really raised eyebrows if someone had been outside the bathroom door.

I don't know who came up with the No Pain, No Gain slogan, but they have convinced the world that it's true even though every instinct we have suggests otherwise. But who am I to argue with popular belief? It was back to the Wii the next day regardless of muscle aches. I did skip the one-legged stuff because I wasn't sure I would be able to get up when I fell over. But the rest weren't too bad. And the Wii even praised me, telling me I certainly take my exercising seriously. Although I think it was being sarcastic.

Then yesterday I decided it was time to assemble my new lawnmower and attack the grass. I had bought a push mower, rather than a power mower, because I thought it would be good way to get in some useful exercise.

Mind you, that was when we lived at a property that had a lawn so small you could cut the grass with scissors during a TV commercial break and still have time to get a snack. This place has a much bigger lawn, and it took about an hour to get it mowed. That includes the ten minutes when I had to reassemble the mower because I had originally assembled it incorrectly and everything fell apart in the middle of the mowing.

Anyhow, I was right. It is good exercise. Only this morning it's the back of my calves and my heels that are hurting. I didn't even know you could stress out the muscles in your heels. And if that picture is any indicator it looks as if it's the Achilles tendon that's throbbing.

At least it doesn't make me yelp when I sit down or stand up. But I do kind of grunt every time I take a step.

All of which is making me re-think this fitness stuff. On the surface it seems like a good idea to work these muscles into shape and strengthen the legs.

But all the empirical evidence keeps pointing to one conclusion: There are a lot fewer aches and pains if I just keep sitting on my butt all day. It's a close call, but I guess it's back to the Wii today for one more round of abuse.

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