It's A Post-Balance World.

We got a Wii Fit board like, eight months ago, and after gorging myself on turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie all weekend, I decided that I should probably take it out of the box and give it a try. I created a Mii (an avatar that’s supposed to represent me on screen while I work out) and then I selected a personal trainer. I chose the male, because he was kind of hot, in a digitized sort of way. Then the fit board determined my age, height, weight and BMI. At which point my personal trainer laughed in my face, and promptly morphed my tall, young, slender Mii into a middle aged mom Mii with a stomach pooch and jiggly thighs. At which point I stuck out my tongue. At a video game.


Anyway, the first thing my personal trainer – let’s call him Gengis – wanted me to do was a three-part fitness test. First on the agenda was step aerobics. Good. Fine. I like step aerobics. In the mid 90’s, I was the queen of step classes at the downtown Los Angeles YMCA. And I could tell, Gengis was impressed. I’m pretty sure I saw him raise his eyebrows after I managed a particularly difficult set of footwork. “Very Good,” he told me, as he labeled me an Advanced Intermediate and informed me that I had unlocked a new exercise. I smiled. I couldn’t help it. Next up was some weight training, though, and Gengis challenged me to a set of six, one-armed push ups. You’re on, I told him. I totally cheated and did them with my knees touching the floor, but whatever, what Gengis doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Begrudgingly, he labeled me an Intermediate, and I moved on with just the teeny tiniest pang of guilt. Then, finally, Gengis presented the last category of my fit test: balance.


Without warning, my Mii suddenly transformed into a little ball, and dropped onto a table with a hole in it. The table moved with my body – if I leaned left, the table tilted down to the left – and the goal was to tilt the table so that the ball would roll into the hole. Within three seconds, my ball had rolled off the side of the table. YOU FAILED, said Gengis. Let me try that again, I said. I just need to get the hang of it. I leaned to the left, leaned forward, leaned backward, leaned right, and again, my ball rolled off the table. YOU FAILED, Gengis informed me again. I detected a snicker as the word NOVICE flashed on the screen. No shit, I snapped. Have you seen the piles in my kitchen? Have you heard my kids whine for my attention? Have you noticed the unfinished manuscript sitting on top of my desk? I don’t spend all day sitting around inside of a virtual gym, working on my virtual six-pack and flirting with virtual hotties. I spend all day running around like a freaking maniac. I schlep kids to dentist appointments and to after school activities, and I help them with homework and I make dinner every night, and I fill out camp forms and in case you haven’t noticed, I just spent three days cooking for twenty-seven people, and all of last weekend hand-sewing a Native American baby carrier for my first grader’s Thanksgiving costume at school. And oh, yeah, I also, allegedly, work. So of course I’m a freaking novice at balance, Gengis! I’M A GOD DAMN WORKING MOTHER.



I read this story while at work thinking about every other thing that I have to do once I leave here. I feel like I spend more time trying to find the perfect agenda to manage everything only to find that everything seems to be managing me. Between two kids, a full-time job and a part-time "opportunity" job (no pay, but great learning experience) and trying to finish my degree online, the word "balance" truly does seem like a joke. Thanks for making me laugh and letting me know it's okay that things don't always go as planned.


Risa, you crack me up! this article was so funny. Trying the female trainer next time?! HA HA HA.

As always it was great, I luv your writing.


I could have written this entry. I also broke out the Wii, which I've been meaning to try for the past two months last week. And I failed the balance test, too.


When I did my "fit assessment" on Wii, it asked me if I had trouble walking without falling down, then told me my "fit age" was 62 years-old. Which at least explains why I like to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m.

Wendi -


I did one round of boxing on the Wii at my mother's house on Thanksgiving and I can barely move my arms now. I ran my first marathon a few weeks ago, but apparently did not use my arms in training at all. I thought my arms were pretty strong from carrying my 3-year old around, but I guess there are some muscles hiding that you only use for boxing.

Mom to 3


That was awesome Risa! You are hilarious. Were you wearing legwarmers?