We live in interesting times. Humans have developed increasingly sedentary lifestyles and many of us catch ourselves sucked in to television. While I try to stay active and moving the truth is I need my rest time, we all do. Unfortunately, where television is concerned it has this magical way of turning an intended hour of downtime into three or four hours. I tend to watch movies and dramas but I know there is a huge draw towards reality television. Maybe it’s because we like to relate to the people on the screen and feel we could be in there shoes. So why wait for a casting call? I have looked at some of the more popular reality shows and have some ideas of how we can make them a reality of our own.
If you like The Amazing Race then try an adventure race in your own state! The Great Urban Race has a presence throughout the United States ending the season with National Championship in New Orleans. Teams of two come up with their team name, matching outfits/costumes and compete in a one-day race solving clues and puzzles. Prizes are awarded for the top placers, Best Costume, and Funniest Pictures.
If you want an adventure race that pushes you’re physical endurance, think Eco Challenge only much shorter, consider the Merrell Oyster Racing Series. In teams of 3-6 people (depending which race format you choose) you can expect to paddle, bike, climb, run, bowl, and compete in trivia and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Unlike a triathlon or marathon you don’t know what the course will be in advance. Of course, that’s part of the excitement. These races also serve as a fundraiser for a local charity, so in addition to the course entry you will be expected to raise money; however the minimal pledge is manageable at $100 per team.
Do you love the sense of accomplishment and emotional rollercoaster that comes with The Biggest Loser? Wish you could have their trainers and access to a team to keep you motivated? Want to lose weight, gain strength, and boost the self-confidence? There is a boot camp for you. In the Denver/ Boulder area we have a group called BCOR that offers group classes early in the morning or in the evening. Most are set in a park and don’t require special skills. You just have to show up and be ready to move. There are many fitness boot camps popping up all over the nation. One unexpected place may be your local recreation center. Your local rec centers are always improving from adding climbing walls, and outdoor education for adults they’re also adding boot camps and nutrition programs. The best part is they’re offered at a much cheaper rate than you would find with a private organization.
Perhaps watching a family who has fallen on hard times receiving their new home on Extreme Makeover Home Edition is one pulls on your heart strings. Then Habitat for Humanity might be up your alley. I know you’re thinking “Cupcake, are you crazy? The last thing I built was a bread box in high school”. That’s the beauty of Habitat, if you can hammer a nail you can help out. You can also volunteer as a family, a company, or a group. You will be helping build a simple house that a family has made a down payment on and will be working on themselves. The housing payments are not for profit and go back to fund additional houses.
Then again maybe it’s music or performing that moves you. Do you like to watch Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance or maybe enjoyed Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within? Want to dance but think it’s too late to learn as an adult? Well quite simply you’re wrong. Granted I am 32 and harbor no thoughts of becoming a professional ballerina or circus performer, but I am not opposed to shaking up my workout routine. I have found that many recreation centers have ballroom, swing dance, ballet, and even hip hop for adults. If you live in the Denver area you can also look into courses through Colorado Free University. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic how about Aerial Dance? Aerial Dance Over Denver has beginner courses and I plan to make this my fitness endeavor in the fall.
Sometimes I may sound like a broken record but I want you all to keep trying new things. I know how much excitement and value it brings to my life and hope everyone else can feel that spark too. If you’ve been inspired to take a class or try something new based on a reality program please share your story in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.