Sunday, October 16, 2011


About two years ago, I tore the meniscus in my left knee. I was getting out of the car, stepped on a rock which shifted under me, and collapsed in a wave of agony.  Habibi, who was with me and ran ahead to the gate, chasing away the neighbor’s cat on the way, came back wondering why I was being so slow.  With him as partial support, I dragged myself home.

I discovered quickly that this was not something that you could tape with an elastic bandage and recover from in a few days.  I spent a long time hobbling around, with the dogs wondering why I wasn’t playing with them.  Since I was not keen on the idea of an operation on the knee (which did not guarantee any long term success anyway), the only thing to do was physiotherapy and hard work to build up the muscles and balance again.

I have never been very good about going to the gym, or exercise classes or such things. Somehow there never seems to be time enough, and getting out and driving somewhere to exercise has never appealed to me either.  But I really had to get back into shape.

And then I discovered WII.  I am always surprised that so many people, when I mention WII, don’t have any idea what it is.  I always have the feeling that if there is anything involved with modern technology that I have heard about, then everyone must know about it.  I found out about it from my grandchildren, of course.  One day when I was at their house, I found them in the middle of a game of virtual tennis. And then they told me about the Fitness program.  I tried out the balance board – and I was hooked!

I have to say that having the WII has certainly made a difference in my level of fitness, and my knee is again as functional as it was before the injury. 

Habibi does not really get the idea.  He sits and watches me as I vigorously step along, and finds it impossible to understand why I should keep walking and walking and not go anywhere.  The downward facing dog exercise for him is a play request in dog language and is an invitation for him to bow in return and lick my face.

Since he likes to join in on everything I am doing, he finds it frustrating that he can’t join in on the WII exercises.  He manages to lie down in exactly the spot where I have to put my leg in the next exercise, and if I am just concentrating on the TV screen and not on him, I am very likely to find my foot in the air hovering over Habibi, as the trainer on the screen tells me, “You are not very steady!  Are you having trouble with this exercise?  You have to practice every day…!”

One of the nice things about WII is the feedback you get, which shows you how well you are performing. But that pompous trainer with his fake English accent does annoy me at times.  Some of his praise sounds like what you would say to a three year old just to keep him happy – “Great! Your balance is perfect! What great condition you are in!!!”  I know better! So does Habibi as he watches me wobbling around on one leg, trying to keep the red dot in the yellow circle…

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