by Chrysa Smith

What kind of gift did you get/would you expect for your 50th birthday? Piece of jewelry, dinner, show, trip? Yep, me too. So while I did receive a spa gift card (which is always greatly appreciated), it came alongside a box with the word SONY on it. Hmmm. I couldn’t remember what on earth I had asked for that SONY might make. Right. I didn’t ask for anything from SONY, but I got it alright—-a Wii Fit.
You know that feeling when you open a gift that has to do with beauty, fashion or fitness that comes with an unspoken message? Well, this was it and the message—one that speaks to middle-age insecurity.
So, as a good Taurus and long-term wife, I resisted. That electronic gadget sat in the basement–alongside a one-time family Christmas gift (massage chair, which I have actually grown to know and love) for months, until a foot injury kept me off the tennis court—or from engaging in any other physical movement that called for pressure on my left foot. So, after much ado, I succumbed. I got on the Wii Fit—-and I haven’t gotten off since.
OK, apologies made. It really is a great gift. Most every day, I do some combo of aerobics, strength training and yoga—and it has made a big difference in my life—in skin elasticity, weight and a decreased need for allergy medication. My digital trainer wishes me good morning, tells me how good I’m doing and reports calories burned and success rate. My little, leg0-like aerobic people sit in a digital auditorium, clapping and cheering me on as I step on and off the platform in sync with the digital music. And my new favorite, my Latin dance instructor Carlos, teaches me meringe and salsa moves that make me blush. All this and no staring, snickering or eye-rolling from others when I miss a move, a beat, a step. Nobody that is, except for the guy with the SONY receipt, who smiles with that unspoken message that smugly says ‘told you so.’