My physio is not happy with me. I haven’t been stretching enough and she’s refusing me passive treatment unless I start taking care of my legs. My hamstrings were taught like a notched bow and according to her, as soon as she touched my quads they began to quiver. I knew Tough Mudder training was gonna make me push my boundaries, but I had no idea I’d be quite this active. In news that’ll surprise nobody who’s talked to me in the past half-week the reason is quite clear. Pokémon Go may well be the greatest fitness app the world has ever seen.
Aside from merely getting to new areas in order to find different pokémon, the egg feature is virtually an in game pedometer. Eggs must be hatched by moving distances, whether 2km, 5km or 10km. Thing is, the distance counter doesn’t take note of speeds above 17km/hr, so you’re stuck travelling on foot or through heavy traffic. You can bike, but try not to put the pedal to the floor or your efforts will be in vain.
When trying to hatch eggs I came to a simple conclusion: running was a faster method of movement than walking. Since I’m lucky enough to be relatively fit, I’ve been able to play the game by running to locations, stopping to catch pokémon then running to the next spawn point. While I run I can interact with poképoints and sometimes catch on the go. It’s changed my entire outlook on fitness. I realized that instead of taking the subway to work, I can just run the 5km and shower at my physio across the road. I can run another 5km after work, stop for dinner, a rest and whatever I need to accomplish that night. Then around 10pm I can go for another run to catch and hatch. I ran 13km yesterday and never once felt bored.
It’s a turning point in terms of fitness. Cardio has always been a weak point of mine. As a kid my only body parts that ran were my nose and mouth. Even when I got fitter, running was still a struggle. Tough Mudder wasn’t too bad last year, but the hardest part wasn’t the obstacles, it was the distance. I had plans in place to slowly up the amount I was running, like any good marathon training. Pokémon Go has blown that to shreds. I’m averaging around 10km each day, with the intention of getting that closer to 15km by the time Tough Mudder rolls around. The entire course is only 16-18km and there are a ton of breaks. I couldn’t have asked for a better fitness regime.
In terms of overall health, I couldn’t have asked for a bigger boost. Pokémon was one of the largest obsessions of my entire life. Now every day I wake up excited about what I’ll get up to or discover. My girlfriend has really taken to the game, so it’s a fun activity we can do together. We’re looking forward to exploring new areas of the city, finding new cafes, restaurants and pokémon. I’m feeling active and good about my body for the first time in I don’t know how long. I feel energised, with a vigour that feels all encompassing. Life is pretty damn great right now, and even if my physio isn’t too happy with me, I think I am.