Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Don't Let Someone You Love Fall Through The Cracks (Of The Couch): A Guide To Getting Your Reader To Exercise

Eldest's reading list for the day...just one day

As I am writing this, Eldest is beginning his 327th snow day of the year. Or maybe it just feels like that. Here in the Midwest we have had nothing but snow and cold weather for the past 14 months. Or maybe it just feels like that. I miss fresh air that does not freeze my nose boogies. I miss sunshine that warms my skin instead of blinding me with its reflection off the snow-that-never-ends. I want spring to come more than I want cake. Mmmmm…cake. What was I talking about?
As the winter drags on Eldest sinks a little lower into the depression his little body is forming in the couch. He becomes a little more reluctant to set aside his book for any activity with each frigid day that passes. 
May I draw your attention to the sitzmark (aka butt-print) that no longer disappears when he gets up?
You see, Eldest is a Reader. Maybe you or someone you love is a Reader as well. (Not sure? Stay tuned for my blog post next week that will help you decide.) He turns to books in times of stress like others turn to wine or Pinterest. As a coping mechanism it isn’t too bad. That is, until we are chest-deep in a winter freeze that even Santa admitted is “pretty chilly” and getting him off the couch for some exercise has become tougher than saying no to that second piece of birthday cake. Mmmmm…birthday cake. What was I talking about?
Notice the perma-creasing on the couch cushions behind him

To solve the problem of getting Eldest some much needed vitamin D production, I have created some games that are sure to get my Reader outside.

Keep Away  I suggest slowly introducing your Reader to exercise with an indoor activity. You don’t want them to pull a hammie. First step, sneak up on your Reader and grab his/her book away quickly. When he/she demands that you return it, hold it high above your head and tell him/her to, “Come and get it.” Continue holding the book out of your Reader’s reach, possibly adding some encouraging words such as, “Is that as high as you can jump?” or “Nah nahna boo boo.” Continue playing until your Reader is able to land a punch or begins to look for something to throw at you.

This game is good if you are significantly taller than your Reader. If you find that your Reader towers above you, I suggest finding a partner and starting a game of Monkey In The Middle. The same rules apply.
Hide and Seek  Now that your Reader is warmed up, it is time to get them outside. Begin by secretly swiping the book your Reader is currently into. This may be tricky. If you have a very persistent Reader he/she may keep the book in sight at all times. You may have to wait until your Reader falls asleep. When your Reader notices the book is gone (this may take anywhere between 2 and 7 seconds) tell him/her that you have buried it under the snow in the backyard.* When your Reader has had sufficient exercise digging up the yard, or begins to hyperventilate with fear he/she has lost the book forever, whichever comes first, pull the book out from under your coat and say, “Oops! It was here the whole time.” Then run and hope your Reader is too tired to chase you down.

*Note: Be sure to make footprints around your yard. Your Reader is most likely smart (due to all that reading) and is looking for any excuse to avoid the out of doors. A pristine snow cover is likely to arouse suspicion.
Another Note: At this point in the process of exercising your Reader, you may notice some nervousness when you enter the room. It is normal for your Reader’s radar to be on high alert. You may also find that he/she leaves the room when you enter. This can be hurtful, but is normal. Do not give up! This is the time to enlist the help of friends who are dealing with their own Readers. This activity will allow you, the Reader-lover, to get support from people who understand while also exercising your Reader.

100ish Yard Book Dash Choose a group of Readers with similar favorite authors. Line the book lovers up at one end of a large area. The bigger the better. (You’ll see why in a minute.) Tell the Readers that you have gotten your hands on an advance copy of the favorite author’s next book (a Pilkey, an Angleberger, a Gabaldon…whatever gets them going) and that you will give it to the first person to cross the finish line. Yell, “GO!” When they all reach the other side yell, “Just kidding!” Now you and the other Reader loved ones should run. In the opposite direction. The mob mentality of multiple Readers is going to give them an extra adrenaline rush. Hence the suggestion that you choose a large field.
These suggestions should get your Reader started on a lifetime of health. Surely they will thank you for your love and caring…or at least feel too tired and thrilled to return to their books to plan revenge.

Give these suggestions a try, then let me know how they worked in the comments below. Ideas of your own? Leave a comment and let me know! 

1 comment:

Teri Biebel said...

My problem? Both of my readers are taller than I am. So Keep Away isn't going to work. Love the ideas you've come up with though!