When I lived in Chicago I was able to walk anywhere and everywhere. Two miles to work? Pfft, that’s nothing. Five mile round trip after getting lost near Wrigley Field? My only regret was not wearing better shoes. Part of this was because I was in shape before I moved there, having just trained my way up to the Danskin triathlon and completed a mini indoor triathlon. Walking in Chicago kept my system going, and the only reason I gained weight was because the medication I was on jacked up my metabolism.
Now, I’ve been on my butt for a while. Even going to the fitness center every now and then hasn’t done much for me so I’ve been using Fitocracy to try and get myself into more regular exercise.
If you don’t know what Fitocracy is, it’s even easier to explain than Spotify. Basically, it’s a fitness program that gives you points for activity. It takes your tracked exercise and converts it into points that are then added to your profile, and you level up when you gain a certain number. People can give you props or comment to motivate you, and you can join teams (I’m in Dumbledore’s Army) to meet other people and get more motivation.
A perfect example of why it is great is this: I hate crunches and tricep dips. God, do I ever hate them. But thanks to Fitocracy’s addictive points system, I’ve been doing them every day without fail. Even when I didn’t do any walking or running, I did my stupid crunches because I wanted just a little more toward my next level. It’s basically grinding for experience and while I wouldn’t call it fun (neither is fighting random encounters so I can get enough money to buy a mythril helmet), I know it’s good for me and I like leveling up. Basically, it’s the perfect program for an RPG geek because even though the carrot at the end of the stick is just a little badge that says I gained a level it’s still a great motivator.
I wonder what it is about these social tools that motivates me so much? In the real world I try and stay away from people but online I make friends like a mofo. Maybe it helps that the people I’m interacting with on the site are ones that want to give me encouragement instead of telling me I’m going to fail, that don’t think that taking a walk isn’t “real exercise,” and that just because I don’t spend three hours at the gym lifting weights I’m not worthy of their time. It’s a community of somewhat geeky people (at least MY feed is) who are all in it for one reason: getting and staying healthy. There’s only one thing they can’t do for me.
I still hate crunches.
If you’re on Fitocracy, be my friend! I’m “geekerella” on there. I am sure you are surprised by this.