Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fit TV?

One of the nice things about our Manhattan apartment is that it came with cable pre-installed.
Normally we don't watch cable, but since it was all set up with our internet, and I need the internet like most people need their right arms, we kept it.
Unfortunately, with more TV channels come more commercials. I have to admit- american commercials, especially CABLE commercials, can be really annoying. In Japan, the commercials will never say 'buy this now!' or yell at you 'COME ON DOWN TODAY' or any of the other super annoying traits of American commercials...(Takeshi's pet peeve is showing piles of cash on the screen, and talking about MONEY MONEY MONEY)... they rely a little more on subliminal messages, and skits and the like. True, sometimes they are SO subtle and indirect that they come off as truly bizarre. And they ARE big on jingles. The last month I was in Tokyo, I had the Aflac song stuck in my head. "What Aflac song?" you may be asking. Dear reader, if you really want to know the answer to that question, just follow that link. But you have been warned, it won't be getting out of your head any time soon.

But after that counter-culture shock, cable is fun. I had really been missing the ability to see new drama on TV, like my favorites Grey's Anatomy and CSI (although my guilty pleasures include shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "Top Chef").
But of course, cable's strength is that, if you really want to, you can see shows that are actually good for you in some way. You can learn stuff on the Science channel, learn to cook on the food network, and last but not least, thoroughly embarrass yourself by following along with FitTV.

I have been trying to find a way to keep in shape in Manhattan, and after looking at all of the incredibly expensive gyms close to my house, tried jogging in Central park a few times. Unfortunately, although it looks close on google maps, it's still a mile just to get there. A mile of either walking or running through crowded, high-traffic, smokey streets. I just don't want to breathe NYC air too deep, I'm afraid that crap will never get out of my lungs.
Anyway, after an hour or so of lazily channel surfing one day, I came across FIT TV, and the program with creepily zombie-smiling host Sharon Mann. I shuffled to a stand, lured with the promise of lean, toned muscle, and tried doing some squats along to the beat. Every few minutes, one of the background dancers would hoot or yelp with encouragement.
"How Are you guys doing out there!!" Enthused the fitness lady. It was not a question. But you know, rhetorical questions are just begging to be answered.
"Horribly in pain!" I enthused back.
Within the course of half an hour, crazy fitness lady had somehow produced a yoga mat, 2 five lb. weights, a pilates stretchy band, an elevated platform to jump on and off of, and a 'fitness pole'. Needless to say, I had none of the said accoutrements, and had in a pathetic attempt to reproduce the excercises, produced a towel and a mop. THe rest of the program I followed along with 'imaginary' versions of the necessary tools, which were much cheaper, but I am sure they did not help me create long, lean muscles.

So I gave up on Sharron Mann, but since then, have discovered the delights of morning yoga. As someone who likes Judo, I had always filed yoga under the 'pshh - whatever' mental filing section. But I gotta say, not only does it help you stretch and wake up, it also allows you to make absolutely rediculous poses under a veil of dignity. (Promting Takeshi to try to take pictures the first morning I tried it. And no you can't see the pictures.)
I swear the yoga people get together in a little room, putting their heads together to think of the most crazy looking poses imaginable and giggling.
"Oooh, I know! how about one foot to your nose, meanwhile waving your hand back and forth like it's stinky." "Good idea! we'll call it the 'never washes feet' pose!"
So if you're poor and in need of excercise, I recommend the Namaste yoga program on Fit TV. Unlike the other program, it only takes one yoga mat, and all your self-esteem. ^_^


Anonymous opi said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying your time in NY! If it is still there, I recommend Monty Python's Spamalot. it is based on the Holy Grail movie, but they include songs from other movies. It is fun and when I saw it in NY I really enjoyed it! It helps if you saw the movie tho.

10:41 AM  

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