From a guest contributor: Thea G…
When I manage to guilt-trip myself into “staying healthy” and drag my sorry ass to that fancy airplane hangar down the hill, I always make sure to avoid the afternoon rush. If you ask why, I’ll tell you that it’s so the fewest number of people possible will be subjected to the gruesome sight of my sweaty, panting self.
The real reason, though, is not quite so selfless. By working out when everyone else is in seminar or plugging away in Olin, I get to watch prime-time television as I churn those pedal things on the elliptical. If, like me, you’re too shy to ask the desk attendants* for a remote, you’re subject to someone else’s visual distraction. Whether it’s the HBO choice of a toned girl who’s barely breaking a sweat or someone’s favorite ESPN channel left over from early morning warm-ups, chances are that if you’re stuck staring at some less-than-thrilling show, you’ll regret adhering to the “leave an empty machine between you and the next valiantly treadmilling person” rule. But at least no one’s never been forced to watch QVC.
Find out after the jump…
In no particular order:
- The Food Network. Really? What self-defeating strong-willed exercisers keep tuning in to this? Yes, thanks, I’d like nothing better than to watch Cupcake Wars as I try to undo those five plates of heart-attack pita chips I had in Peirce. If I have to jog through Guy Fieri smacking his lips over one more greasy mega-burger on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, I might go all Gordon Ramsay on you.** (Pro Tip: On Mondays, there is a Triple-D marathon from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Swallow your pride and request that remote.)
- MTV. Watching Snooki make a drunken fool of herself in Florence does not particularly encourage me to cycle for another 20 minutes — it just makes me want to skip all future Old Kenyon parties in favor of reading international newspapers and getting a medical degree. (The same goes for E!. No, Kendra, I do not care about your life.)
- The Soap Network. I would actually rather watch another re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond on TVLand than try to burn off steam while badly-acted familial and spousal intrigue takes place in a swanky hospital or a swanky living room or a swanky beach house.
- Whatever channel keeps playing Sweet Home Alabama. I’ve seen the proposal sequence three times already this semester. Your hair is super cute, Reese, but there’s only so many times a girl can stomach watching you be surprised in Tiffany’s before she’ll want to punch you in the face.
- HGTV. I’m pretty sure some professor’s wife always picks this station when I’m there, because what sophomore cares about fixer-uppers? Or better yet, what senior can afford the digs shown on Property Virgins (even if they do mostly seem to be in Canada)?
And while we’re on the subject, let me put in a good word for closed captioning. Reading while running is a double-duty workout!
But really: I have not once plugged my earbuds in to listen to the TV. The shows function as a purely visual incentive: to follow a storyline or to find out who just got voted off, you’ll push through the next commercial break and burn off 50 extra calories. But what I really need is the Kaiser Chiefs’ beat from my iPod, not the scripted banter of an uncomfortably cheerful host. Closed captioning in the KAC: a common courtesy for the unathletic among us who also don’t have magazine subscriptions.
Just remember, if nothing playing appeals to you, there’s always the rainbow tube-lights.
*Second-cushiest student job on campus (below Library Concierge)? Confirm or deny.
**Not actually a Food Network star. “Hell’s Kitchen” is on Fox.
“Some professor’s wife…”
Really? Why publish something so heteronormative? Why must we continue to hold women to such stereotypes?? Language is powerful.
I wrote that because I’ve seen this woman choose the channel at least twice — the admittedly facetious description wasn’t meant to generalize about the interest of women or wives, but to imply that I don’t know what her connection to the college is. And to tell the truth, I am glad for my own sake that she chooses HGTV as opposed to, say, Spike’s “1000 Ways to Die.”
I agree with all this…especially the Food Network one. Being subjected to Paula Deen while on the treadmill is excruciating.
no way! I love watching Paula Deen on the elliptical (just ask my freshman-year roommate – my impressions of the way she says “mah husbaaand michael deen I could jest eat him right up!” lasted the entire walk back to the quad), I find it motivational. Her butter-coated butter cookies stacked on butter cake butter butter makes me want to lose about thirty pounds after watching.
Additionally – I’d put Helpline staffer up there in the “cushiest jobs” category…as I write this I’m “at work” ie eating a Peirce cookie (or three) and reading this blog
Who are we kidding? Apart from the walk to get there, staffing the KAC desk is easily THE cushiest job on campus. Squash, anyone?