Monday, April 9, 2012

Zombies, Run

So, if you've been following my ramblings for any length of time, then you know that my weight is something I've been fighting against for a few years.  I used to lose five pounds if I laughed too hard, but now I gain ten if I even drive by a Five Guys.

I love running, but find motivation to be difficult.  Working multiple jobs that require my butt be firmly planted in a chair for almost 12 hours daily, sapped me of a lot of my will to exercise.

I've tried a lot of things to help me in my quest to lose weight.  I'm not the best eater in the world, but I'm not a glutton either.  Every time I've been able to commit to exercising for any length of time, I've slimmed down in no time.

The biggest barrier has always been motivation.  I'm goal oriented.  I bribe myself with vacations or gadgets.  But eventually, those stop working and I get fat again.

Recently, I downloaded an app for my iPhone called ZOMBIES, RUN.  Basically, it uses my GPS to track my run, and functions as a game in which I'm being chased by zombies.  Once you begin the run, it's all pretty passive.  You get instructions through your headphones...mostly just news and stories.  And occasionally, you get chased by zombies and you have to sprint to escape them.  They literally come closer and closer–you can hear them moaning in your ears–until you either outrun them or get eaten.

The first time I used it, I blew through 4 miles without even thinking about it.  The first mission was only about 20 minutes long.  But after the mission, it switches to a radio program that is hilarious.  The game uses your own music playlist between clips.

This app is ingenious.  Not only does it make me excited to run to see what happens next (the items you collect on your run can be used to unlock new missions) but it keeps me involved while I'm running, a perennial problem for me.

This app is exciting on a personal level, because for the first time in months, I'm really psyched to get out there and run.  But it's also exciting on a bigger level...This app isn't just some hastily thrown together thing.  When you listen, you can hear the care the designers put into crafting the story and recording it.  I laughed during the radio show and I felt real anxiety the first time zombies chased me.  This app represents a wonderful advancement in storytelling.  It's immersive and active and it turns something tedious into something fun.

I can imagine other apps with different stories.  Stories where you're a Navy Seal, caught behind enemy lines.  Stories where you're a prisoner trying to escape your captors.  The possibilities are endless.

Anyhow, if you're like me and you want to run (jog, walk), but can't get motivated, go give Zombies, Run! a try.  It's worth $3.99.  Hell, I'd have payed double that.


  1. You know there is a real life version of this, right?

    As a person who lost twenty pounds last summer/fall, and has probably gained half of it back since one of our cars hit a deer, I'll go for anything that helps motivate for exercise.

  2. Whoa! I'm totally doing this.



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