Entertain Me

You know what’s a really good TV show to watch while you ride your rollers or trainer? 24. I’m currently in the middle of Season 2, and have Season 3 all ready to watch as soon as I’m done. (For those of you who care, I watched the first season five years ago when my twins were infants. My wife and I would record episodes and then — during the 3am feeding — watch the show as we fed the girls. My memory of that season is, um, vague.)

There’s a problem, though. Robert Lofgran — my trainer — has me doing around two hours on the trainer/rollers each day, which equates out to three episodes per workout (because, blessedly, there are no commercials on the DVD version of the show). Which is to say, a season of 24 isn’t going to last me very long.

So after I exhaust Seasons 2 and 3, I can get myself Seasons 4 and 5. No problem. That doesn’t exactly get me through the winter, though, does it? Which brings up a question: what should I watch next? I’m thinking of getting a NetFlix subscription and need recommendations for good videos to fill my queue.

Wait a second, though. I don’t want you to start posting your ideas quite yet. You see, I have very stringent trainer/rollers video watchability criteria, and the only suggestions I want must conform to these exacting requirements:

  1. No subtitles. I like foreign language films, but not when I’m on the rollers. Every few seconds to make sure I’m not drifting off one side or the other.
  2. Must not require my full attention every single second. When I go into the red zone, I seem to lose the ability to comprehend English. Moving pictures stop conveying meaning and become nothing but colors. The whole world contracts into just a couple simple things: My legs and my lungs. So intricate plots may not be a plus.
  3. Must be action-packed. I have noticed that my cadence sags when a show goes into a long, heartfelt, dialogue scene. Sad, tender scenes are even worse. I’m not saying I want a movie containing nothing but fistfights and car chases, but I’m not saying I would be adverse to such a film, either.
  4. Martial arts sequences a definite plus. I remember the last time I got serious about using the indoor trainer; I watched every single Jackie Chan movie they had. Jackie Chan movies are awesome for watching while exercising.
  5. Must not star Kevin Costner. I’m sorry, but I simply cannot abide that guy. At all. In any film. Seriously, I cannot think of any films he has been in that I’ve enjoyed. (Except perhaps A Perfect World, but I think that was because Clint Eastwood negated the Kevin Costner effect.) Of course, I haven’t been to any of his recent films because I’ve learned my lesson, but I haven’t seen any previews that make me think that I should reconsider. 
  6. The movie cannot be entirely inane. I once had the clever idea of renting a bunch of Jean Claude van Damme movies based solely on the certain knowledge that the fight sequences would be stellar. The problem was, in between the fight sequences, all van Damme movies slam to a halt while the poor sap tries to act. And then I feel embarrassed for him for trying to do something he is simply unable to do (act), feel embarrassed for the director and scriptwriter for their utter failure to execute a film that tries to be something it’s not (i.e., it’s not anything but a series of kickboxing matches), and — worst of all — become embarrassed for myself for having selected this video.

So, with these unassailable criteria in mind, what should I watch while riding the rollers/trainer this winter?  

PS: If you happen to have a really excellent collection of cycling videos — road and/or mountain — you’re willing to loan me for the Winter, I’d be willing to offer some serious preference points toward the next giveaway (I’m not yet sure who will be the sponsor of the next giveaway or what they’ll give away, but I will say that there are two new potential sponsors I’m talking with, each of which would have some pretty excellent prizes to give.).

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