Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Z Factor

** Note: this story was first posted on Mothers of Brothers. I am reposting it here so that I can keep all of my stories in one place. **

This is me at a dance-based fitness class:


I get this big goofy grin on my face. The more I notice my grin, the wider it gets. I avoid mirrors, because if I see myself grinning like a maniac, I'll burst into giggles, which is even more embarrassing.

Sometimes, however, group fitness classes aren't funny at all. Sometimes they're serious and intense.

Consider, for example, the BodyCombat class that I used to take when I lived in the city. It was a combination of dance, yelling, and martial-arts inspired kicks and punches. During my favourite track, we had to fight 5 opponents and - this is the best part - gut the last one with our imaginary samurai sword.

Punch opponents one and two.


Elbow opponent four.




I took the sword-fighting track very seriously.


I took it so seriously, in fact, that the instructor called me out on it with a laugh: "That's what I like to see! Someone who's getting angry. Someone's who's taking them down."

I didn't tell her the truth:












I was invincible.

Which leads us to the central thesis of this post:

Inserting zombies into workouts can help you motivate yourself to push harder, farther and faster. I call this motivational tool the Z Factor.

Take running, for example. I like to watch episodes of The Walking Dead while I'm on the treadmill.


The tenser the scene, the faster I run.




What better motivation to run than hordes of the undead snapping at your ankles?

Best of all, the Z factor can also be applied to less aggressive physical activity, such as dance.






The Z Factor. It's infallible.

You're welcome.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You just have to run faster than the person you're with.

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  2. This is funny! Maybe I should incorporate zombies into my fitness routines. I took a Zumba Class with my best friend once. The teachers divided us into two sections and we had to do a dance off with the other side. Neither of us are skilled dancers so to have to watch the other one thrust wildly on the other side of the room was almost too much to handle. At least I got an ab workout from laughing so hard.

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    1. Oh, I HATE the dance offs. I look so ridiculous when I'm dancing. It's why I hide in the back. But face to face dancing? Eek!

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  3. I've seen and enjoyed it twice now and a great idea Stephanie - to put them here so they're with your others.

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    1. I just like keeping all my story-children in one place. ;)

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  4. hey, it's all about whatever motivates you!...
    i took a box class a couple times and it's very funny: you start with the punching and then you realize, hey! i have a lot of pent-up frustrations that i am releasing!
    wish we could zumba together - i have never gone, and want to go with a friend!!

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    1. And I'm the best person to go with, because my Zumba moves make ANYONE look like a rockstar. Ha!

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  5. Zombies are my motivation for a lot, but never exercise. I'm going to start now as motivation for exercise. Thank you in advance for the 5 pounds I'm about to lose.

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    1. You're very welcome. It can't fail. Unless it does, in which case I can't be held responsible.

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  6. I can't get over it. I really can't get over how absolutely hilarious and genius you are. When you get published I WAS THE ONE WHO KNEW IT FIRST! ME!

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    1. I'm already practicing my thank you speech to you in the mirror. And oh my, that sentence structure sucks, but I'm too tired to fix it.

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  7. Whenever I try wiggling my hips, I usually do fine for the first, like, seven wiggles but then the motion escapes into my body, and I look like a worm.

    That's why I never hip-wiggle.

    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer

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    1. But really, anything more than 7 wiggles is overkill. I think you're fine.

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