Who needs a pricey Peloton, with its sleek graphics and high-tech interaction with dozens of real instructors like Cody or Becs or Matty? I have my trusty Wii console, which, after about 15 years, still gets me moving.
That isn’t consecutive years, mind you. It’s an intermittent relationship.
When the pants are feeling tight, I dust off the Wii, pull out the Wii Balance Board, grab the controller and click on my Mii.
There are few things more unsettling than seeing a roly-poly Mii staring back at me — but that’s what I get for skipping 1,760 days of training, as I was reminded. The more you exercise with the Wii, the skinnier your small twin gets. Those are real goals right there.
As a side note, my children haven’t been on the Wii in many years, so their Mii will always look youthful and thin. It might be time to age them.
The familiar sound of the marimba as the Wii warms up is so distinct, followed by the warnings to give yourself plenty of space and to tighten the wrist strap so your controller doesn’t fly out of your hands and into your TV.
You’re prompted to turn on your balance board and step on. I cringe waiting to see if the board will let out a disappointing “Oh” as my feet hit the mat, as if it’s being crushed under my weight.
Some people have to exercise to get rid of their baby fat or their beer belly. I need to work out to fix my carb butt. To be accurate, it’s my “too many good shows on my DVR/carb butt.”
No matter its groans, I trudge on. This little machine will not best me!
I do my weigh-in and body mass index test, make a silent promise to do better — and then it’s time to get reacquainted with my 2007-era trainers.
I usually stick with Margo, as I’ve named her. She’s very encouraging, very supportive, very annoying. When Margo starts getting on my nerves with her chipper attitude, I can easily switch trainers. The other option is a male; I named him Roger. He’s fit and cute and all, but he can be condescending.
Too bad there isn’t a third option like a goat or a rabbit. Because there’s nothing funnier than talking animals.
When my kids first got their hands on the system, they immediately made dozens of Miis — all of our family members (including an ex), their friends, Carl their sweet childhood dog, Tom Petty, Michael Jackson, Harry Potter and Dobby, Peanuts characters, someone who looks like Gary Sinise, Mario, Dora the Explorer, Pac-Man, the Jonas Brothers, Conan O’Brien, Ugly Betty. There’s even one named Mayor that looks suspiciously like Daddy.
The Wii system really does set you up for a fun session. You can work on yourself with yoga, aerobics, strength training and balance games. And what makes the activities even more exciting is you’re competing against the other characters.
My kids have always been my competition and the ones to try to beat. Also, no one else ever played the games. You see user rankings and are notified when you reach a new record. Fist pump!
You get one to four stars for each performance. It’s always encouraging when I earn professional level.
My favorites are the aerobic and balance activities, because you get to interact with your Mii friends instead of the trainers. I love stepping in time to boppy music with Joe Jonas and Charlie Brown and hula-hooping with the kids and Mother.
You also can head-butt soccer balls, balance on a tilting table, snow ski and walk a tightrope. And there’s no fear of me face-planting into a coffee table or my TV; the graphics are nowhere near the level of Oculus virtual-reality headsets.
This little machine, antiquated by today’s technology standards, still tracks my center of balance — I apparently lean back and to the right — and it gives me my Wii Fit age.
I tested at 43 — a whole decade younger. I’ll take it! Who would give that up?
Once you reach the end, you get to “rest” on the Wii board in lotus position — that’s criss-cross-applesauce fashion for you non-yogis — for a final meditation. With the slightest wiggle, your candle is blown out — and that’s a wrap!
Your results are posted — not on Facebook or Strava — but on your Wii so you can track your progress.
I don’t want to be confronted by a pudgy “Amii” on the screen, so that is all the encouragement I need to keep doing the Warrior 1 pose and steppin’ in time with my kids’ buddies.