I wrote this a few years ago, but I’m reposting as a hint to my mother, who hijacked my Wii Fit six weeks ago…
The moment the entire aerobics class turned their heads toward me and gave me a thumbs-up, I got hooked. These wonderful people care about me! They’re genuinely thrilled for my achievements in class! They want me to succeed! I’d love to invite them out for coffee after class to thank them for their sincere endorsements – except they’re not real. They’re characters – or Miis – from my Wii Fit. And yet, I long for their approval.
Thanks to the Wii, Mom’s gone mad.
I’m not exactly sure how I fell in love with a video game that tells me – and anyone else in the room – how much I weigh, but I did. Yet when I started using my Wii Fit two weeks ago, I really didn’t expect much. I’m a recovering gym rat, after all. And this summer, I started working out once a week with a (real live) personal trainer, my friend Cheryl, who’s helping me get my body back in shape after a year of cancer treatments. Certainly, I couldn’t get much out of a silly video game. Not at my level.
Except, my level isn’t what it used to be. Though my body mass index measures in the “normal” range, the Wii recommends that I get it down another two points because, it tells me, “People with a BMI of 22 have the least health issues.”
“You mean, all this time, all I needed was a lower BMI and I wouldn’t get cancer?” I asked it sarcastically, but it didn’t answer. Instead, it shined a spotlight on my Mii, the video game version of me that my kids created, continually changing my hairstyle as it grew in after chemo. Then the Wii ran a drum roll.
“Your Wii Fit age is…..46!” it announced. Suddenly, my Mii went from happy to dejected, shoulders slumped and frowning, as the Wii pointed out that 46 is five years older than my real age.
“I may not be able to stand on one foot like a flamingo without wobbling,” I told the Wii. “But I can do math.”
I pushed a button, and my virtual personal trainer appeared on the screen. She welcomed me back, suggesting I’d get more out of my exercise program if I worked out every day.
“Cheryl says I need to rest my muscles a day after a work out,” I explained to my fake personal trainer, but she ignored me. Worse, she talks without moving her mouth.
“Freak,” I spat. But she wanted me to follow her in doing push-ups on the Wii balance board, followed by side planks, where I balance on one arm while crossing my legs, a move that would come in handy should I ever join Cirque du Soleil.
When I finished, my trainer said, “You’re very strong.” And then she gave me my score: Four stars, or “Bodybuilder.”
“Ha! Bodybuilder,” I laughed. “When I start a fire after my thighs rub together in the two-minute run, you’ll change your mind.” Again, she didn’t respond. So, I ditched her for the balance games, my least favorite because I just plain stink at them.
After missing way too many headers for a former college soccer player, my children laughing at me as my Mii got clocked in the head by flying soccer cleats, and falling off the tightrope when the scary teethy thing came at me, the Wii told me I’m “Unbalanced.”
“We knew that already,” my husband offered in passing.
I missed the love from my aerobics friends, so I clicked my way over to class, and started it up. After a few steps, I got into the groove, prompting a “Perfect!” on the screen. And then, all the other Miis turned their heads, and gave me a thumbs-up.
“Good job, Mom!” my nine-year-old cheered.
Maybe I will exercise again tomorrow, I thought. After all, I long to feel the love from my fellow soccer players in the heading game. You know, because I’m “Unbalanced.”
Share, share: What’s your addiction?
Full disclosure: Nintendo gave me the Wii Fit and the subsequent joy that came with it (and now, with my mother.)