Much like 2020 itself, my experience with Ring Fit Adventure wasn’t supposed to be this way.
You see, there have been two types of people during lockdown. Those who have used this “unprecedented time” to get into incredible shape – publicly documenting every achievement as they go – and those who have slowly watched their waistline expand at a rapid rate (along with their hair).
I’m in the latter, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m more portly than I’ve ever been. It’s not really a surprise as to why, though. Comfort eating has been my go-to solution to cope with the rigors of lockdown life. Weekly takeaways, late night snacking, and a general fear of leaving the house have all contributed to the type of weight gain that’s usually reserved for the holiday period. (But at least I’ve tamed my unsightly barnet.)
In fact, I’d worry that if I hadn’t ordered so many takeouts, I’d have been robbed of the frequent exercise I get from gleefully going down the stairs to collect my piping hot meal, along with the Everest-esque climb that’s required to get back up them.
Tech gone wrong
To make matters worse, I know that I have all the tech-based tools to get my now Fall Guys-resembling frame back into gear. My beloved Samsung Galaxy Watch was a great personal trainer before Covid-19 came along, and I even tried to ease the aches and pains of my pitiful posture by purchasing an Upright Go 2.
My Galaxy Watch hasn’t graced my wrist for well over two months, unfortunately, and I’d be hard-pressed to tell you where my Upright Go 2 currently resides. I swear if you listen closely, you can hear my spine crying out in anguish.
So I’m bigger than I’d like, then, and my sedentary job and hobby of choice doesn’t exactly help matters. For most of the day I’m either firmly rooted to a chair or almost horizontal on the sofa playing video games. And that’s when it hit me: if anything can motivate me, it’s those damn video games.
While there are plenty of fitness games on the market, the logical choice seemed to be Ring Fit Adventure on Nintendo Switch. Typically, I clearly wasn’t the only one who had this revelation, as Ring Fit Adventure has been one of the most sought-after items ever since lockdown began. When stock does come in, it’s snapped up quicker than the last slice of Domino’s pizza in my household. Blink, and you’ll miss it.
Wild workout spotted
Against all odds, though, I managed to find a rare Ring Fit Adventure in the wild. Clearly, the well-chiseled Gods of Retail smiled upon me. I immediately parted ways with the princely sum of £69.99 (nice) in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, this piece of tech would help smooth out some of my burgeoning rolls. (Come to think of it, why are religious figures always so buff?)
When my new personal trainer arrived, I was optimistic – cocky even – that I’d be back to my best shape in no time. I started in earnest, completing three workouts in the space of three days, which served as a stark reminder that yes, I am out of shape, and no, this pursuit of a healthier physique will not be easy. For some daft reason, I thought it would be.
Ring Fit Adventure is no joke. The workouts may take place in a world of colorful monsters and accompanied by an enthusiastic voice over, but they’re pretty punishing. Leg day seems to take place every single day, and jogging on the spot is something that I’d expect the devil to assign me if I end up engulfed in the eternal fires of hell.
Ultimately, whining aside, it’s a sign that Ring Fit Adventure works – and it works well. You squeeze a large plastic ring that feels like it really wants to break, but somehow never does, and strap a Joy-Con to your thigh which monitors your leg movements. You’re then subjected to various challenges and exercises that strain every sinew of your body, and cause my heart to beat so rapidly it feels ready to break free of my chest to find an even lazier individual to crawl inside.
The rhythm games included are an absolute win, too, although Shakira was right when she said my “hips don’t lie”. These cheerful, lighthearted minigames make you perform various poses in time to popular Nintendo soundtracks such as songs from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Splatoon 2. I’d like to see more, though, as the fun factor really shines here, even if I want to turn into an Inkling-like puddle once each track has ended.
Sadly, the enthusiasm didn’t last.
After prematurely tweeting about the positive start to my Ring Fit Adventure fitness transformation – which studies have shown is a huge mistake – I did what the majority of us do: I quickly gave up. And I don’t even blame Nintendo, really. Ring Fit Adventure is a great fitness game – I do wish it had a standalone app, though, that could monitor and track things such as weight loss, calories burned, and ping daily reminders that I should really workout instead of working on my Rocket League skills.
Me after completing my first workout on Ring Fit Adventure pic.twitter.com/LS96bDSFGJApril 25, 2020
Sadly, as difficult as it may be, I can’t help but blame myself. I blame myself for believing that technology could miraculously stem my desire for a delicious Five Guys’ burger once Friday rolls around, or that our restrictive lifestyle would encourage people to wear a goddamn mask in public spaces so this could all be over sooner. But alas, one of the most elusive and highly-coveted products of 2020 sits shamefully behind my entertainment center.
As I type this second to last paragraph with one hand, the other reserved for shoveling prawn cocktail crisps into my mouth, I can’t help but feel like I’ve robbed someone else of the chance to share their fitness story with the world. If you’ve been struggling to find Ring Fit Adventure in stock, perhaps Ebay might be a good place to start. You might even find a listing that claims the product is “like new”, which means it’s hardly been used. Just a hunch.
Then again, perhaps this public admission of guilt is exactly what I need to kick-start my fitness goals. With the right consistency and support from kind strangers on the internet, who says I can’t get myself back to a weight that I’m comfortable with? You know what, screw it, I think I’ll cancel that Ebay listing after all. (Sorry about that.)