Archive for Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wii Fit brings out couple’s competitiveness

February 1, 2009


Husband Ray and I spent the month of January skiing. Although we were absolute novices who crashed and burned on numerous occasions, we persevered until we could glide through slalom gates in record time and actually break several ski jump records. We did all this without leaving the warmth and comfort of our home, standing on a balance board in front of the TV while playing Wii Fit.

I am miffed that Ray has bested me at all sports except tightrope walking. Turns out I’m fairly good at maintaining my balance while walking a tightrope between two tall buildings. I was even able to jump over an obstruction, land back on the rope and finish my walk. Pretty cool feat for a couch potato.

I figured I’d beat him at yoga exercises simply because I once took a yoga course with friends Estel and Betty and still have the leotard to prove it. I never could actually relax and see through the third eye in the middle of my forehead, but I did learn to stand on one leg with my eyes closed without falling over. Well, I can’t do that anymore and have the bruises to prove it.

I was demonstrating the tree pose (standing on my right leg with my left foot resting on the thigh of the leg I was standing on) when I fell backward off the balance board, crashed into a table, broke its legs (it was a cheap table), then slammed into an antique floor lamp (not cheap) which bent when it fell against the wall. All this, while Ray sat in a nearby armchair. “It happened too fast for me to catch you,” he apologized, while I wondered what would have broken or bent on him had he managed to get in the way of my backward progress.

As I attempted to recover my dignity by relaxing in the recliner, Ray, a rank amateur at yoga, tried the tree pose ... and executed it perfectly. He’d probably still be standing there on one leg if I hadn’t called him a showoff.

I don’t even want to see him try step aerobics for fear he’ll be better than I who, in a long-ago dance aerobics class, learned that I can’t tell the difference between my right foot and left. The darned balance board knows if I’m stepping on the board with the wrong foot and lowers my grade. Then it points out everything I did wrong and tells me to watch the Miis’ feet who are taking the class with me. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Wii game system, a Mii is a little cartoon character you can create in your own image.

My Mii looks very much like me with regard to hair color and style, even facial features. And now it looks far too much like me for my comfort. That’s because when you first start up Wii Fit, stand on the balance board, input your age, height and the weight of the clothes you are wearing, it weighs and tests you, then gives your Body Mass Index and Wii Fit age.

After doing that, it puffed up my Mii and told me I had a lot of work to do. Every day when I step on the balance board, it groans. Ray’s Mii, on the other hand, stayed the same size and cheers when he steps on the board. Perhaps I should claim I am wearing 20 pounds of clothes ... that’s the ticket. I’ll bet that will shrink my Mii to normal size.

The good news is my Wii Fit age has declined by 19 years, but so has Ray’s. The bad news is I’m still afraid to try the tree pose. I think that, when I get up nerve to try it again, Ray should spot me. I’m pretty sure he will because our new table isn’t cheap.

— Marsha Henry Goff is a freelance writer in Lawrence whose latest book is “Human Nature Calls.”


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