Monday, October 03, 2005

The Search for Sport

Damn you Oprah Winfrey! Damn you and your new video wall that shows inspirational videos played to life-affirming musical accompaniment!

For some reason unknown to me or anyone else I have once again started watching the Oprah Winfrey Show. It’s been well over a decade since I last watched the Chosen One on a regular basis, but somehow I’ve been lured back in. Maybe it’s because it’s her 20th year. Maybe it’s because she has a new set. Maybe it’s because I was hoping that in the past decade she had stopped being the only Black woman on the planet with absolutely no rhythm. (No such luck)

Whatever the reason, I am officially hooked on everyone’s favorite billionaire. What I love most about the Oprah show is the fact that you never have any idea what you are gonna get. I mean, when you tune into Maury Povich you know that you are either going to get abnormally large babies or paternity tests. If you tune into Ellen you know that she’s going to be dancing and trying to make inoffensive jokes. But when you tune into Oprah you can either get Kelly Clarkson talking about snack cakes or a woman who threw herself out of a car after being raped by an escaped criminal. It’s really hard to emotionally prepare yourself for Oprah’s show.

Take for instance one of her shows last week that started with an interview with Melissa Etheridge. I’m like, oh a good old fashioned Celebrity Overcoming Life-Threatening Illness While Learning the Meaning of Life Interview. But noooo that interview was only ten minutes of the show. And there were several other Overcoming/Meaning of Life interviews left to come.

Next up was the story of a guy who had been born without arms or legs below his elbows or knees. And yet this kid had become one of the best wrestlers at his college. Then there was the story of a man who lost his leg in an motorcycle accident years ago but with the help of a prosthetic went on to compete in marathons and triathlons. THEN he was hit by a van and left paralyzed from the chest down. But he did vigorous rehabilitation and was now able to walk a little. And then comes the story of a young man from Africa who had been born with a deformed right leg in a country where parents are encouraged to kill their disabled children. In defiance of his countries views and in honor of his mother’s memory this one-legged man rode his bike hundreds of miles across his country. With only one leg peddling.

And then came the before mentioned inspirational videos and music.

And then I was done.

Because there I sat, well lets be honest, there I lay on my bed watching Oprah, hoping that I could catch my roommate right when she got home and convince her to bring me a soda from downstairs. So that I wouldn’t have to walk down the stairs, and back up again. Yet, here is this kid on Oprah’s show WITHOUT LEGS climbing up and down his stairs with no complaints. While inspirational music plays.

And it’s at that moment that I realized that it is time to get off my butt. Because, I mean really, this is ridiculous. There is really no reason why I’m as lazy as I am. I’m in decent shape (compared to people in bad shape), I’m relatively young (compared to old people) and I’ve got rhythm (compared to Oprah). So why is it that I can’t manage to move myself farther than my refrigerator (only after I’ve exhausted all options of someone else moving to the refrigerator for me)?

These people on Oprah have one leg/no legs/paralysis and they are more physically active than me. Which isn’t saying much for them, but it is saying a lot for me. So it’s time to make a change, be the best version of me, embrace my inner warrior. And all that crap.

It’s time to start moving.

But where do I start moving? Where do I go to get my heart rate above that of a hibernating snail? I know that the obvious answer is the gym. But that is obviously not going to work. I’m not too big on moving just for the sake of moving. And sweating just for the sake of being seen by other people who are sweating. Whenever I have attempted to become part of the gym population I have started with excitement and dedication and promises. And then about ten minutes in to my first jog on the treadmill I’ve lost interest in the whole thing and ended up at the Jamba Juice down the block instead. (Smoothies are good for you!)

What I need is motivation. Yes, yes, my Oprah Winfrey Inspiration Trifecta will give me some initial motivation. But let’s be honest, unless one of those guys is coming after me wielding his prosthetic leg they are probably not going to motivate me into movement for very long. Because there is a Jamba Juice right down the street.

So then, I need to find a sport. Because sports play on the one thing that I like even more than being lazy. And that one thing is winning. Somehow when I am playing sports my need to destroy my competition drowns out my need for breathing, water or any endurance whatsoever. It is that psychotic competitive nature that is my only hope at maintaining any sort of regular exercise. Look, I know it ain’t exactly Zen, but you gotta work with what you got.

Today marks the first day in my “Search for Sport”. (Cue inspirational music and slow motion video) On this search I will find the sport or sports that will lead me to my ultimate physical fitness. Or it will at least lead me up and down my stairs without a mandatory rest on step #10. Or maybe it will lead me to watch Maury instead of Oprah. The only thing Maury ever inspires me to do is get a paternity test.

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