Exercising with Akira August 4, 2010Posted by Matt in exercise, movies.
Tags: Akira Kurosawa, exercise, Netflix Watch it Now, Yojimbo
Those of you follow this blog might remember that I’ve been exercising and lifting weights on a regular basis since the beginning of this year. Sometimes my aerobic workout involves running outside, but with temperatures still dangerously high after dark, that has not been an option in recent weeks. So, without the dark neighborhood roads to act as my conduit to good health, I have relied on our elliptical.
We bought our elliptical a few years ago and at first I used it regularly, but soon, as so often happens, it became just another holder of dirty clothes and whatever junk the kids piled up. Earlier this year, though, I dusted the machine off, familiarized myself with it, and put it to use again – at least on the days when I did not go outside. Now, we purchased this machine at a time when we had little money to spend, so our elliptical is quite cheap by most standards. Sure it has a digital display and varying resistance levels, but it’s also a bit rickety and squeaks incessantly when in use.
Ideally, I like to watch television when I exercise, but the squeaking made that quite difficult to do without turning the volume up to a deafening level. Thus, I could easily watch sporting events while exercising because the announcers words mattered little to me, but could not keep up with the MSNBC talk shows (Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow) that I also enjoy. Once the NBA playoffs ended, I was faced with a difficult decision – what would I watch? I like baseball fine, but I don’t generally watch it on television and there were few other viewing options during the dog days of summer.
Well, faced with watching news programs at a deafening volume or exercising in silence, I decided to turn to another method of entertainment – Netflix. We ordered the Watch It Now disc for the Wii and set it up, giving me a huge collection of options, but I was still faced with the fact that I could not hear the spoken words very well. That was when it hit me like the blunt edge of a samurai sword – foreign films.
Sure, I could watch movies in English with subtitles turned on, but I would always find myself straining to hear the actual words. With foreign films, the spoken words would not matter to me, so I can watch the action, listen to the music, and read the words while churning out 40 or so minutes on the elliptical.
Last night, I began this new venture with Akira Kurosawa’s classic Yojimbo and made it through half of the film. Tonight I will probably finish it out. I found myself captivated by the story (which would later inspire Clint Eastwood’s classic western, A Fistful of Dollars) and fairly easily pumped out 45 minutes on the elliptical, burning off a total of 950 calories.
Yeah, I think Akira and I are going to get along just fine…at least until football season starts…