My arms hurt so much today, I can hardly lift a cup of coffee, and I feel quite silly. This is how it happened...
I played ice hockey all through high school and into my early 20s. I loved being a goalie, and after going to lots of Kings games with Nolan in January, I decided that I was going to put on my pads and play again before the 2009 was over.
Well, due to a series of unexpected events, it didn't happen, so I pushed the goal (ha! ha!) into this year and started going to a gym three or four days a week to get back into shape. I've been doing lots of cardio conditioning for the last 6 weeks, and this last week I finally added some light weight work.
Now, I'm not talking anything serious, just some very light weight work. Like ten pounds in three twenty rep sets. Hey, stop laughing at me. I haven't lifted anything heavier than a pen in at least five years.
I deliberately started out light and easy so I wouldn't hurt myself or overdo it. It felt a little silly to be putting the three machines I used on their lightest settings, but I got over that pretty quickly ... especially when doing my third set of incline presses was rather difficult.
This was two days ago, and even though my arms ached a little bit and felt a little heavy all day yesterday, I was glad for it. It made me feel like I was leveling a little bit, and gaining muscle XP (yes, there is nothing in the world that I can't view in gaming terms).
So yesterday, I got Bioshock 2. Anne was out all evening, so I settled in for a return trip to Rapture. Just like the first time I played Bioshock, I didn't open the manual or learn anything about the game; I just started playing and let the world and the story unfold while I was playing. I won't spoil it for anyone, but the first 60 minutes or so of the game was more exciting and compelling than any blockbuster movie I've seen in recent memory.
Here's a quick spoiler-free mini-review of Bioshock 2, based on my 7(ish) hours of gameplay: I really like it. I loved Bioshock because of the story and the world, and Bioshock 2 had some very big (daddy) shoes to fill. The story is still unfolding, but so far, it's very compelling. And Rapture ... well, things have really gone downhill since the last time I was in Rapture. So I can't say definitively that it's the best thing ever because I haven't played it all the way through, but it's not every day that I pick up a sequel to a game I loved and play it for seven hours straight without complaint.
I took a brief break to eat dinner and watch the Kings (8-1-1 in their last 10) make the Oilers (3-7-0 in their last 10) look like the 1981 Islanders. It's like the Kings decided that the Oilers, being the worst team in the NHL this year, would be a cakewalk, so they didn't need to, you know, show up to play. I gave up after two incredibly frustrating periods and went back under the sea. (Kings eventually lost in a shootout after coming back to tie it while I was fighting with [SPOILER] in [SPOILER] and holy shit [SPOILER] was [SPOILER]!)
"Man, I could keep playing this all night," I thought. "I could take the day off tomorrow, too. I could totally sleep in tomorrow and nobody would care."
"Are you fucking serious?" My dad voice said. "Anne's off work tomorrow. You're planning to clean the house together, get started on the taxes, and work on your PAX East keynote. How the hell are you going to do that if you sleep all day?"
"But ... Rapture!" It was the best I could do, on account of I was trying not to let [SPOILER] kill me at the time.
"Hey! I'm talking to you. Pause the game," My dad voice said.
"You need to act your age, be responsible, and go to sleep. Bioshock isn't going anywhere."
I mumbled something under my breath.
"I said 'okay,'" I lied.
"That's what I thought you said. Now save the game and go to sleep."
"Oh, I have to, uh, get to a save point," I said.
"Nice try, mister, but I've played this too, remember? You can save and exit whenever you want."
I mumbled something different under my breath. Ten minutes later I was in bed.
When I woke up this morning, I tried to lift myself out of bed with my right arm, like I do every day, and I couldn't do it. I had to roll over to my left, all the way across the bed, and hop out on Anne's side (which, to be honest, was kind of cool and ninja in retrospect).
I initially thought that the pain was due to exercising my arms for the first time in years, but the more I thought about it, the more I noticed that the pain was localized just above my right elbow, while my left arm really didn't hurt that much. I replayed yesterday's marathon Bioshock 2 session in my head, and realized that I'd been so into the game, I was fiercely gripping the controller the entire time I played it, engaging all of those muscles that had, just 24 hours earlier, been subjected to ten pounds of weightlifting horror.
Feeling very stupid, and hoping that my dad voice wouldn't find out, I walked into the kitchen and yelped when I tried to make myself a cup of coffee.
"What's wrong?" Anne asked.
I told her.
This is where, were our lives a movie, we'd just go to stock footage: she looks at me for a second, cocks her head to one side, starts to say something, stops, and just slowly shakes her head.
"I know, I know," I said. "Let's not tell my dad voice though, okay?"
"Uh, never mind ... can you help me with this coffee?"