Sunday, January 12, 2014

I need to get (the cushions) off the couch.

I've been working hard not to lapse into complete sedentary-ism: making an effort to take a lunchtime yoga class once or twice a week, lowering my standard week-day run from 3 to 2 miles (the result: I've actually been doing it). I may even start teaching a lunchtime jazz (dance) class for my co-workers. I'm on semi-rare good-ish exercise streak—partly because I'm sticking to only activities I love.

I wish I were intrigued by the CrossFit craze or enjoyed plyometric workouts—my friends have had outstanding results. I've tried Beachbody's T25 program twice: Shaun T and his crew don't annoy me at all—they seem like fun, normal people whom I'd love to have over for dinner and drinks. But the cardio workouts really hurt my feet (the arches - it's totally weird) and I don't get any sort of mental rush from doing them. A couple of weeks ago—after the second T25 attempt—I came to the conclusion that I'd probably never expand my preferred physical activities beyond running, dancing and yoga-ing. Total acceptance. And then today I discovered "Secret Ninja Obstacle Course." Well, actually, not to brag or anything, I created Secret Ninja Obstacle Course. 

Here's how this game goes: You put big couch cushions on the floor and, one by one, players (AKA "secret ninjas") take turns creating a jumping/balancing/memory sequence of movements that must be repeated by the other players, who are sometimes your opponents and sometimes aren't, depending on everyone's moods.

The benefits of this Secret Ninja Obstacle Course, from my perspective, are as follows:

  1. It's creative. There must be a story behind your movement ("there are swimming crocodiles waiting to attack!").
  2. If you'd like, you can make it be sort-of yoga or sort-of dance or sort-of running (more like bounding from pillow to pillow). Or you can make it all about pure Secret Ninja Moves (read: jumps with spins and arm slashing) so long as you move from pillow to pillow. The rules are up to you. (Caveat: When it's your turn.)
  3. I doesn't hurt my arches like T25.
  4. It seems to be the only thing that truly keeps my kids from beating the shit out of each other.
  5. The boys think I'm waaaaaay more fun than when I'm trying to make them write thank you notes create art to send to family.

The boys and I did triple sessions of Secret Ninja Obstacle Course today. During the last session, one guy participated in his underpants (see above). I guess it makes sense: in SNOC (pronounced "snock"), you work up a SWEAT. The boys couldn't get enough. I'm pretty sure I've started the next workout craze. 

Note: If you care a lot about your couch cushions, SNOC is probably not for you. 

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