We all like a fun workout, right? Well, I thought about going to the gym yesterday, but then I realized I had about two full seasons of Supernatural to catch up on before the season eight finale. And erm…priorities.
So I decided to try to get the best of both worlds, and I created the Supernatural marathon workout game!
Beware, there might be some spoilers nestled in here.
Here’s the sitch. It works pretty much like a drinking game, but you know, without the booze and with a lot more exercising. There are plenty of fun things I love about Supernatural. The Impala. The meta. The Sam.
There are also a lot of things that reappear fairly often. Like…the Impala. And motel rooms. Angels. Demons. And erm, death. So I made up a little program of exercises to do! Amanda Byrne suggested that I share it with you, so for your Friday funsies, enjoy!
Let’s start with the basics. To do this, you’ll need access to some or all of the seasons of Supernatural, a love of Winchesters, and a bit of open space. You’ll also need some dumbbells of whatever weight you fancy moving around. Some exercises you can do with your bod alone, others you’ll want to use weights.
- Supernatural episodes
- Winchester lurve
Here’s what I came up with!
1. If you see the Impala, show that muscle car some muscles.
What better way to do this than bicep curls? Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your elbows close to your torso. Contract your biceps, raise your weights. Don’t grunt unless you want the lunk alarm to go off. I did 30-50 reps with smaller weights for this. Do what you gotta do.
2. Motels are popular places. Sort of. Whenever Sam and Dean hang out in one……
It’s planking time!
Nope, you’re not trying to plank on top of the McDonald’s arches. We’re talking the other kind of planking. I like to do this one leaning on my forearms. Keep your body (especially your core) as straight as possible. Raise yourself up on your toes and forearms and hold the position for whatever time length you fancy. I go with 30 second increments.
3. We’re gonna mix the Impala with some Queen, because when they’re driving, you want to ride your bicycle.
Not the traditional bicycle. We’re talking bicycle crunches. Whenever the boys are driving around, you get down on the ground, lie on your back, and alternate extending each leg in front of you. While doing this, put your hands behind your head and twist your torso from side to side, trying to bring each elbow close to the opposite knee. I did this in sets of 20 (per leg).
4. Only way to get abs like this is to work them out. A lot. Consider this your reminder.
Whenever you see a set of Winchester abdominals, get your crunch on. Pretty simple. You can do crunches, right?
I started with fifty or so in sets of 10-20.
For this, you can use whatever weight of dumbbell you want, but you’re doing dumbbell flyes each time you see an angel. I don’t care if it’s Castiel or Lucifer. Get flapping.
6. When one of the Winchesters drops, so do you…and give us fifty.
Pushups, that is. These boys have a tendency to get dead. When they do, get your pushup on. Lots of pushups. It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, you show those boys some respect by conditioning your core, back, and arms. Fifty pushups. Do them in as many sets as you need.
7. The Winchesters drink a lot. And somehow they manage not to get the beer belly. The only way they keep those cut obliques is by working them out.
You can do side crunches or side planks, or whatever you want. I like to use one dumbbell, hold it above my head, and lean from side to side. You’ll feel it in your sides. Just picture the V. Or, you know, Dean’s or Sam’s.
8. When they fake an occupation, so do you.
Those Winchesters like to flash badges that aren’t theirs. For this one, you hold dumbbells in each hand with your elbows bent at 90 degree angles and held close to your torso like you’re going to do curls (or like a server holding a tray full of drinks). Stand on one leg with the other bent like a flamingo. At the same time, rotate both arms and the bent leg outward so that they’re all in line with your body, then back in so they’re in front of you again. It’s a lateral movement, no vertical curling, etc. Do about ten reps on each side.
So that’s it.
Eight different exercise triggers in honor of the eight seasons of the show.
Have fun getting as ripped as the Winchesters! Got ideas for more we can add? Let me know in the comments!
This month tapped me on the shoulder a bit ago. “Halloo,” it said. “Would you perhaps care to join me?”
I picture him looking a wee bit like the genie enumerating the rules of wishes in Aladdin — rather like the first picture here:
I decided to go with him. He seemed to know what he was doing in a stuffy sort of way, and he informed me in no uncertain terms that the month would require a certain amount of hard work. Little did he know, I had ulterior motives.
Is writing a fancy or a feeling? (Or a Ferrars…) I suspect for most of us, it begins as a little of both. Whether it’s a fit of inspiration as a young child or some burgeoning need as an adult, writers start out because of some nebulous drive to create.
My fancy began as a way to get the stories out. I felt them in my head, squirming around in there. Kind of squiggly things, stories. Like a worm behind your eye if you’re aware of them. If you’ve read my About Me page, you probably know that 9-year-old Emmie took a run at the world of science fiction. My idea was based on something I’d heard — that if you were to travel through space fast enough, you could go somewhere and return to Earth the same age, though everyone else would have aged and died. So I boarded a ship with my best friends from school (leaving all their names intact, but changing mine in a fit of narcissism to go with the inspiration) and we took off to explore foreign planets. I remember thinking quite clearly that they would return to Earth to find everyone they knew dead. Sadly, the work never got finished and though I kept hold of it in a miraculous feat of preservation through the 5-8 moves after we left Portland, I haven’t seen it since early high school. I stopped writing because of some unknown little feel for the admonition to write what you know — and I knew nothing about astrophysics or quantum mechanics.
Through middle school and high school, I wrote for class, and those were the most rewarding times I had with schoolwork. Somewhere around junior year, I began my first major attempt at a novel. This time it was fantasy, because I could write what I knew and share it with people who might know the same world even if they didn’t know they knew. That’s how I feel when I read my favorite fantasy — I knew that world was out there. It feels like home, familiar. The best authors connect with the subconscious worlds of us all.
Through all that fanciful feeling that spanned about a decade and a third, the thing I lacked was discipline. Even after I consciously admitted to myself that I wanted to write, it took a long time to admit to anyone else. I grew up poorer than poor, and I didn’t want to keep living like that. That meant college and a Real Job, and when I graduated from high school, Clinton had only been gone a couple years, and that was when university still worked that way. So I went to university and studied biology for a semester before switching to history. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t had Dr. Bill Watson as my first college history professor. I had adored biology in high school and thought about being a research microbiologist, studying genes and DNA. My first bio professor at university was okay, but I already knew everything in the intro course, and I slept through it. Literally. That was my nap time. (Very, very rude in hindsight — but I couldn’t not go to class because I would fail, and I had learned all of the information two years earlier. Thanks, Mr. K.)
I began to write seriously, if tinged with a lot of naivete. Dunked in naivete, you might say. I kept my writing to myself and didn’t share it with anyone, afraid that someone would accuse me of a worthless fancy. Why I was afraid of that, I don’t know. And if you read what I wrote yesterday morning, you’ll know what came next.
The point of all this re-hashing of the past is this: all the fancy and feeling in the world won’t help achieve goals. Somewhere along that line of development and secretive writing between massive history papers, I created my very first Writing Goal. It was a simple one, and I didn’t think of how lofty or involved it was until much later.
I wanted to see my book in a cover on shelves. I wanted my name on the spine. I wanted to take the worlds and stories that squirm inside my head and get them out, in hopes that they existed in the minds of others as well. For all creative types, I think there comes a moment when we realize that all the creativity in the world is wasted if we lack one ten letter word.
That’s what NaNoWriMo is for me right now. It’s an exercise in cultivating discipline, to post here every day even if the time to hit my word count flits away on the breeze. It’s making a conscious effort to consistently devote my energies to that little goal of Book On Shelf. NaNo is the kick in the pants, but I know as the sun sets on each new day who is responsible for what comes next. It’s not you, gentle viewers. It’s me.
So this is how it’s going to work.
Step One: Ass in chair.
Step Two: Fingers on keys.
Step Three: Stories on paper.
Step Four: Make stories better.
Repeat until Book On Shelf.
It’s going to do a trick!
Sorry. I’m just chock-full of the bad puns lately. You can smack my wrist if you must.
Well, gentle viewers, we are back to The 25 for the penultimate day! Aren’t you excited?! I sure am. Though I’m going to have to start nosing around for little tidbits to chuck my two cents at day after day. Hm.
Think of your writing as a windshield. Ill-suited words can streak and cloud your reader’s view, and just-right language can be as clarifying as a high-powered carwash. Once you have a solid draft, it’s time to consider:
- Could a different word bring even more energy or resonance to a poignant moment through sound, subtleties of meaning, or syllabic rhythm?
- Could the setting be conveyed more vividly? Is the natural world palpable?
- Is the emotional tone consistently resonant? Are there neutral words or passages that could be more charged?
- Does the language powerfully enact the action?
As you polish and prune, each piece of writing will teach you something new about what is possible. Let yourself be surprised.
Ah, language. Such a fickle critter. Sometimes it’s in our corner, flowing off our tongues and out of our fingertips like some kind of magical chi. Other times, it’s a monkey flinging poo at our heads. And that’s all that drips off of us. Poo.
There are times when what’s important is to simply vomit the words onto the page, like this month, where hundreds of thousands of writers feverishly slave at their notebooks (electronic or otherwise) to just get the damn things out of us. Words.
And then comes December. It’ll roll over on you like a sleeping grizzly, flinging a furry arm over your face in its hibernation, then cough bear breath — which I imagine smells something like stale sushi and digested berries — in your face to remind you that what you just vomited on the page is stinking up its den. And you’ll want to clean it up, because you’re not stupid enough to piss off a hibernating grizzly, no matter how sleepy he looks.
The best way I know when my language is flinging poo instead of sparkling like magic is when my attention wanders away from the page I’m revising. Come December, I’ll be going back over my first draft with a red
pen text color to mark any points in the manuscript where I see something shiny in another direction, or start pouncing light beams on my wall.
Reading aloud can also show you sticky spots. If your tongue falls out on the floor or ends up in a knot tied around your uvula, some re-wording is probably in order.
The questions posed by The 25 are very good starting points. Some others to ask yourself are:
1. Are your action scenes dragging?
2. Does your exposition drop you like a weighted body at the bottom of the sea?
3. Do your characters make themselves distinct? Pick a random (but meaningful) chunk of dialogue and stick another character’s name in the attribution. Have one of your readers read it. If they shrug at you, look over that character’s dialogue. People have verbal tics. Listen to your characters until you find theirs, then pepper their speech with them. Liberally.
4. Does your story flow from beginning to end or does it cough and mutter in fits and starts?
Language is both the poo-flinging culprit and the glorious wand-waving solution to all of those issues. So when you revise, make sure you keep that grizzly happy. Or at least bring him some honey.