Wednesday Wii – Real Men Don’t Wii 2

As I said the last Wednesday I had time to write on this, too many Wii folk try to push their bodies beyond their design limits. I’ve been known to do this myself. When the nice young girl in spandex says, during the Half-Moon Pose, “don’t push yourself too far”, my automatic response is to push. Fortunately, the Half-Moon doesn’t offer the kind of leverage needed to pop a new xylophone out my side.

What I’ve found — this works for me, it may not for you — is that I have a small range, maybe 10% of the total, between when I feel my body start to offer resistance and when I am pretty sure my medical insurer would agree that I shouldn’t go any farther. When I hit that point, I cheat. In the Gate Pose, for example, I’m supposed to keep my forward leg straight and tilt at the waist until 60% of my weight is on the Wii board. If I did that, I’d be wearing my external obliques like a new fashion accessory. Instead, what I do is this. I play the game, and lean towards that leg in the approved fashion, until I can feel my side muscles tighten. Then (and this is the cheating part), I bend my forward knee to move my weight forward. Just as the little musical tone changes, to tell me I’m getting close to the target spot, I stop bending my knee, and let that last 10% of stretch carry me into the correct zone.

The key is that I only cheat enough to get out of the waltz zone and into the zone where the system can measure my incremental success. I have complained before about the Wii’s refusal to grant partial credit when I’m really bad at something. How can I know if I’m improving if it won’t measure what I’m doing now? In addition, it’s silly to cheat for the sake of cheating — when I’m doing the single leg test I could hang on to a chair with both hands and get a dead straight line, but what would that tell me? The assumption is that as my flexibility improves I will have to cheat less and less. Remember, the only person I’m cheating is me.

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