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On Resolutions and Motivation

It's been a while, but here we are, 2011! 'Tis the season for resolutions and manic gym attendance, the carols of grumbling bellies and sweet temptations singing from baker racks and fast food joints. Never fear! For your trusty (albeit somewhat -- nay, often -- absent) NPC is here!

The important part about New Year resolutions is the follow-through. At the brink of the new year, it's easy to find the motivation we need. Fit into that Spiderman costume by ComicCon? Easy as pie! Moonlight as one of the Spartans from 300 by DragonCon? It'll be done by April! The unfortunate truth is that we often either injure or burn ourselves out before the real work has even begun, and end up casting aside our fitness aspirations long before we've given them a chance. When you're motivated and eager to go out and run ten miles at the start of your goals, it's likely that your body isn't ready for it. Sure, we've seen montage after montage of our hero learning how to manage his (or her) superpowers, designing a supersuit, and overcoming the otherwise mundane obstacles that would otherwise hinder a good storyline.

The sad truth is that we will probably never see Bruce Wayne on a yoga mat, just as we will likely never see Jean Gray sneak a cookie or drink a slimfast. We toss our D&D characters into epic battles wherein they must exercise great feats of strength and cunning, and still have the energy to haul literally thousands of pounds of gold away as loot like it was nothing. Ultimately, the reality of the physical prowess of our heroes and characters rarely comes to light. This being said, it's easy to see why the stereotypical geek is a sucker for instant gratification and lacks the temerity to adhere to a steady workout regime.

Bollocks, I say. Ask anyone who paints minis what patience is, or who crafts their own District 9 alien costume. These things take days, if not months to complete. Most geeks have patience in spades, but choose to apply it to something other than running fruitlessly on a treadmill or lifting large chunks of metal in a weight room. I'll agree -- it's a mindless task that's hard to focus on, because ultimately, repeating the same task time and time again without having to think is tedious. This being said, here are some ideas to spice up your workout, or at least distract yourself from the boredom of mindless tasks when a montage isn't likely to happen:

1.) Obvious, but compile a motivational playlist of your favorite montage or inspirational music. Daft Punk's "Derezzed" on the TRON soundtrack is an obvious choice for the technophile, but others may be motivated by selections from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Last of the Mohicans, etc. Anime fans may find their inspiration in the title music for their favorites, while D&D gurus may find their blood pumping to battle music. Look around online to find something that makes your workout yours. No one is saying you have to workout to stereotypical workout music. You can even look up free podcasts by NOVA or Discovery on iTunes if you prefer a non-musical approach.

2.) Tailor your workout to your interests. Just because treadmills work for some people doesn't mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. Belly dance (as Jess has taught us) is an exceptional workout, as is regular horseback riding (for those with the resources to do so). Obviously, jogging in a park may be preferable to being packed into room of people who are regular gym-goers. I tend to avoid the typical recommendations of engaging in sports to make a workout interesting, because as geeks, most of us aren't likely to count "sports" among our top interests. If possible, it may be preferable to invest in a treadmill or bike for your home, so you can watch that Battlestar Galactica marathon while working out.

3.) Wii and Kinect. I've never used the Kinect, but I've had success with the Wii. There are tons of fitness games available to suit your interests, some of which don't make it obvious that it's a workout. I like the Wii because I can track my fitness goals and weight. The little board mascot is, frankly, a little turd when it comes to criticisms or pointing out my lack of a workout, but I appreciate its programmed honesty.

There are others, certainly. What do you do to keep motivated?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
I also felt a desire to "like" this post. -_-*
My motivation? My wedding. Tony Horton (his enthusiasm is infectious). I also still have the image in my head of the Red Sonya at D*Con a couple years ago as my 'fitspiration'.

And if we're talking about the most recent incarnation of Bruce Wayne...yeah that cowl wouldn't let him do anything involving looking anywhere but straight forward.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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