By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
I don’t really like to just sit around and watch TV. At my age, even if things turn out for the best, the time I have left is shrinking and I am less than happy to waste it.
So when friends recommend a show that they are sure I’m going to like such as Arrow or Flash (I have always been a DC comics guy), I want to be accomplishing something, too.
I try out the latest recommendations by watching on my phone when I get on the Cybex machine at the Davenport North Family Y. Even if I don’t like the show, I figure, I still can be doing something.
If I click with the show, the time passes quickly. I push harder and work out with a smile on my face.
The guy on the machine next to me, with no phone and no ear buds? He has the dull look of a guy doing life without parole.
It’s no wonder some people hate working out and give up on it.
What I really like to find is a series that’s interesting, but not too complicated. You want to pay attention to the show, but you also want to pay attention to your machine and surroundings.
Police procedurals like Law and Order work for me. It’s a bit too predictable for couch-viewing, but good for the elliptical. With 20 seasons to view, it’ll last for a while.
Recently, though, I began watching old Perry Mason shows. They’re fun to watch for a variety of reasons.
Up-and-coming stars pop up (James Garner before Maverick and Rockford, George Takei before Star Trek). Fay Wray (after King Kong) makes an appearance.
The plots are just complicated enough to keep you focused on them and not your exercising. They are also an amazing snapshot of women in American society in the 1950s.
But it takes all kinds. My wife likes to read when she’s on the elliptical at the Y. Last year, she read War and Peace. Yeah. Not a typo.
At home, on the bike in the basement, she has worked her way through practically every documentary known to Netflix. Also she’s methodically plowed through Gilmore Girls and Friday Night Lights (me, too. GREAT series). She just started West Wing. That should keep her busy for a couple of months before she asks what’s next.
Well, what IS next? Do you have any series, shows, music, podcasts or movies to motivate you and make your workouts more enjoyable? I’d love to hear them. Because not everyday can be a Perry Mason Day.
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|