Features
the Gauntlet

Pink Flamingo Challenge: A new-school failure

Publication YearIssue Date 

Failing a fitness challenge is awesome in so many ways. First of all, you don't have to motivate your lazy ass enough to get down to the damn gym. You don't feel tired after moving around pieces of metal for an hour, or running around a giant circle for 20 minutes. In fact, you don’t feel tired at all, because you’ve done absolutely nothing.

Yes, failing a fitness challenge is great, except for the effect on your body, self-esteem and dignity.

As part of the new-school program of the University of Calgary's Pink Flamingo Challenge, I was expected to motivate my lazy self enough to get to the gym 40 times during 10 weeks. I managed to accomplish about 10 per cent of the feat. I went to the gym four times one week. Ten per cent is an accomplishment, for a lazy sports editor who couldn't play a sport to save his life.

Despite my failure, it's not too late for me, or anybody if they want to try the challenge. All the challenge involves, at least on the new-school side, is rolling up to the track around the top of the Jack Simpson Gym, and going through the circuit training set-up the U of C has.

One thing I did learn from my brief romance with the sweat-inducing, metal-moving machines is that no one takes advantage of the circuit training program. It's actually quite useful for people too lazy to come up with their own workout scheme and when used properly, it's efficient.

There are a dozen or so machines and a red light. When the red light is on, you work out, when the red light is off, you stop. It flashes on and off in around 30 second intervals. You start at one of the machines, work out for 30 seconds, move to a bike or some other cardio activity, and then when the light turns back on, do the cardio activity for 30 seconds. The light turns off again, and you move to the next machine. The circuit takes maybe 20 minutes to complete, and does a fairly good job of keeping your heart rate up. If you want to work on specific muscle areas just repeat specific exercises as you please.

The circuit allows some flexibility for building your own workout routine, but also allows you to be lazy when you just want to do what you're told. To do the circuit training, you need to take a 15 minute orientation that happens three times a day. Though it costs two dollars to complete, all proceeds go to the Campus Food Bank and you get a sweet yellow tag that goes on your shoe.

What are you waiting for? At least your failure won't be publicized.

Had a better experience with the Pink Flamingo Challenge? Send your stories to gauntlet@ucalgary.ca. Keep fit and have fun!

Section: 

Issue: