Yesterday, after much procrastination, I finally joined Zwift.
What I am doing right now ^^ pic.twitter.com/YkuZtHnkv1
— Alt the Fabulous (@AlternativeChat) April 2, 2016
Husband is, of course, very much on the ‘virtual cycling’ bandwagon, but I’ve largely resisted the temptation until now. However, as part of the #28FitDays Challenge, I have decided to spend some time daily getting some extra calories burned and ‘levelling’ a character. That ‘ding’ you hear on the video? That’s me earning XP :D I did 14k as a starting point yesterday and actually, it was incredibly hard. However, so challenging was it that I’d like to think I could do 15k today and advance my XP bar a bit more: you earn kits at the granting of each new level so that people know how far you’ve pedalled. However, should I make it to L2 (which is 50k travelled) I’ll actually need to pay for a subscription. That means I have until Tuesday to make a decision.
What makes this ‘game’ that more interesting, especially if you’re a cyclist, is that real-life pros use this system. That means that there is a good chance that at any point you could be cycling alongside a man who’s a part of the Tour De France peloton or a professional woman cyclist. More significantly of all, people don’t hide their identities, quite the opposite. This is all about a level playing field that anybody of any ability can use and participate in. This system has the potential to effectively revolutionise all forms of static activity, and provide those who wish to train with an environment where like minded individuals not only participate together. but actively encourage each other to better achievements. Most significantly of all, if you decide to cheat (and there are ways to do just that) the only loser, ultimately, is yourself. This is a ‘game’ where the reward, ultimately, is your own fitness and nobody else’s prestige or perception matters one iota.
That’s going to be a bitter pill for some long-term gamers to swallow.
My 15k a day (which is roughly 10 miles) will effectively double my current output of exercise, but doesn’t add to my step total (because, you know, NOT MOVING) but no matter, I can tell the Fitbit it is the rough equivalent of a Spinning Class (which is in some ways true) and I’ll still get the throughput. This is to add some variety to my day, show my husband that I get how important cycling this is for him (and give him stuff to do in sorting the same static bike for two completely different body types) and to push HIM in turn to greater exercise goals, as he’s now into a completely new area in terms of weight loss.
I like the idea of combining technology and fitness, because for so many people gaming means sitting on your arse and NOT being active. Without going into a long and possibly divisive rant about how fitness matters regardless of body type and shape? You need to get up from your PC/Mac once in a while and not be staring at a screen. You just DO.
What you do when that happens? That’s up to you.