Saturday, January 24, 2009


For you who, like me, are trying to learn how to do the various things in Wii fit, I thought I'd pass on the things I think I've learned that seem to have helped me.

It has helped me to remember that the only thing Wii Fit "see's", I think, is where my weight is shifted to, as reflected by the balance board. So leaning, or bending, or such is only effective if it is reflected by a shift in weight at my feet.

So, for example, when I do the hoola hoop, I concentrate on being sure as I move my hips, that I feel my weight shift from left toes to right toes to right heel to left heel to left toes, etc. I think that must be how the program knows that my hips are moving in a circle. When I lean to catch another hoop, I have found it's more important that my weight shifts to the right or left than it is how far I am leaning in that direction.

I have a hard time maintaining my balance. I feel myself teetering and tottering by the way my weight shifts as felt by my feet on the Wii Balance Board. Balance seems to be all important in some of the activities. It has helped me, although I'm still really poor at it, to consciously be sure I am putting weight on my big toes and little toes. The other toes seem to follow suite.

That idea is especially true when doing the ski slalom or the ski jump, because the speed is determined by shifting your weight to your toes. So, I seem to be more successful at keeping my balance if I shift my weight to the front or right or left by pressing down with my big and little toes or by shifting my hips left or right rather than by leaning a lot, which puts me off balance.

Well, I know you're all doing much better than I am at this, but it makes me feel important if I can sound like I know something. I have to admit I'm enjoying doing it, even if it does still insult me by saying things like, "this obviously is not your forte, do you find yourself tripping when you walk?" I've decided the remote didn't go through somebodies TV screen because it slipped out of their hand. They got mad and threw it because they were insulted.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Dawn has been doing WII FIT for several months. She has recorded nearly 200 hours, or at least that is her goal by her birthday on March 1st. She does a variety of the activities every morning at about 6 or 6:30. It took awhile for her to begin to see results of the hard work, but she stuck to it every day without fail and the results now are really very impressive.

I don’t know how much weight she has lost, she doesn’t talk about her weight to me, but I do know her clothes don’t fit and I’m probably facing the purchase of a new wardrobe. The really surprising thing to me is the way her body has kind of re-structured itself. She really looks good. She may still be a bit over-weight but she looks trim and stylish and in shape.

I’m so proud of her for doing it. I know it isn’t easy to get up every morning and do that for about 9 months of days in a row (excluding Sundays). It takes a lot of determination and courage – tenacity. Another word for tenacity is stubborn. I’ve been called stubborn or bull-headed more times than I can count. Maybe we’re alike in that regard, Dawn and I. I like the sound of tenacity better than stubborn and bull-headed, I think. I’ve learned that this family has a lot of that, tenacity that is, and now I understand better where you all got it.

And Dawn is continuing on, day after day. It is going to be a very interesting journey to see what happens. And, believe it or not, she has impressed me so that I decided to do it to. So I started a few days ago and I have recorded about 13 hour’s total. Hey, that’s a start. I’m determined too. I want to be productive and do some worthwhile things for a long time yet, and it takes good health and energy to do that. It’s worth some effort if we can see that happen for both of us.

I’m looking forward, too, to getting on-line with WII FIT and playing games or competing with my grandkids and other members of the family, them in their house and me in mine. Actually, a good part of my exercises so far have been doing the activities that I can do with the kids – and beat them, like the one where you hit the soccer ball with your head and dodge the panda and the shoes, the ski slalom and the ski jump - - and the hoola hoop. I’m going to practice bowling too.

Maybe we can have a tournament at the family reunion – grampa, Grandma and the parents against the kids. You better watch out though, the old man is doing pretty well on some of those things. I’m practicing to win.

Learn with Joy

Referencing my notes about not telling the truth when I was allowed to take the car the first time, there is a wonderful verse in the Book of Mormon, Jacob 4:3 that teaches something about all that. It reads:

...and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy wnd not with sorrow...

I knew without a doubt when I was 15 years old that I should tell the truth. I had been taught many times how important that was. Obviously, it hadn't sunk in very deep for I lied. If only I had been wise enough to believe and follow what I had been taught, and simply told the truth. If I had learned to tell the truth by being taught I would have learned with joy, but because I had to experience the consequences of not telling the truth before I would believe what I was taught, I learned with a good deal of sorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I wish I'd told the truth.

I found myself thinking the other day about a time when I was about 15. I guess this memory came back as a result of thinking about driving well.

In those days in Idaho kids learned to drive farm vehicles when they were very young and were allowed to get a driver’s license at 14, as I remember – no drivers training. My parents owned a 1941 Hudson – a big black car. I had permission to use the car and go with my friends to a movie in Preston, 15 miles away – my first time to be trusted with the family car on my own with my friends. I was pretty excited and thoughtlessly invited a car-full of friends; Ed from Clifton, LaVel from Dayton (I had told my parents I was taking them), but then I invited Alvin from Weston, and Harry from way up Weston Canyon about 30 miles from our house, and not on the way to Preston. I didn’t tell my parents I had added Alvin and Harry. I was afraid now to tell them how far I’d need to drive.

So, I picked up the friends and we went to a movie and then to a hamburger joint for a hamburger and a shake. All as planned – correct and proper.

I’m not sure what time we left Preston, but I remember very clearly, and still painfully, that it was nearly 2:30 am when I finally finished delivering everyone to their homes and arrived home myself. I knew I was in trouble when I saw that the light in my parent’s upstairs bedroom was on. My bedroom was across the hall from theirs.

I entered the back door of the house without a sound, and climbed the stairs (avoiding every stair that squeaked for I knew them all). The stairs went halfway up in one direction and then turned and went the opposite direction to the top where there was a landing and the entrances to the two bedrooms.

You know of the story of the man who fell off the roof of a high building. As he passed the second floor window he said, "Well, so far so good".

I had now reached the halfway point on the stairs but hadn’t turned the corner. I hadn’t made a sound. The back door had closed silently enough and I had taken my shoes off so I could cross the linoleum kitchen floor quietly. I had successfully negotiated the stairs – not a squeak. (In retrospect, I’m sure my Mother had to have been impressed at how very well I had done.) I reached the halfway point, as I said, took a deep breath, and prepared to turn and work my way up the second flight of stairs, saying to myself, “Well, so far so good”.

I turned and saw my Mother ….

It occurs to me that I should tell you a bit about my Mother. She was truly a wonderful person: kind, understanding, and loving. She was very kind to the farm animals and would never swat a fly if she could find a way to shoo it out of the house. She had babied me shamefully all of my life so far. She would always prepare a special dish of potato salad for me because I didn’t like onions, bake pumpkin pie often because it was my favorite, scold me carefully for running up the stairs because it might not be good for my heart, and protect me from anything that might not be good for her little boy. But, on the other hand, at this moment, there on the landing, halfway up the stairs, I remembered the time, out in the cow corral when I was 6 years old or so, my Mother with a long, green willow in her right hand, holding my left hand in her left hand, and tanning my behind as I ran around her at top speed – and my heart went to my throat and sweat broke out on my brow once again.

Well, I turned and there she was, standing at the top of the stairs with her hands on her hips…

I saw no mercy. I’m sure that 10 minutes earlier she and dad had both been deeply worried that I might have had a serious accident (things you imagine are always serious when you don’t know where or how your child is, especially at two in the morning). I suspect they had been worried that I might be laying somewhere in a wreck, hurt or worse. But not now. Not as I stood there on the stairs, not bleeding, not hurt, not showing any concern for anyone but myself, and looking up at her. All those tender and worried feelings had suddenly turned to anger. How could I have done this to them? How could I possibly be so insensitive? Why would I treat them this way? And worse, what might I have been up to until this time of the morning. What kind of sins was this kid up to, after all?

So…she stood there her hands on her hips, and said…

I wish I could tell you the tone in her voice. Ominous? I thought so. Menacing? It was to me.

She said, “Where do you think you’ve been until this hour of the morning?

Well now, my Mother is a very intellegent woman, but you have to admit, looking back, that she was probably not performing at her peak. That was not the best question in town. I’ve asked myself, “Had I been thinking clearly, which I wasn’t, how should I have answered that without being a smart-aleck and making things worse?” I have found no answer. Maybe you can help me. Maybe you’ll face that question or a similar one sometime before you grow up.

You may be wondering what I said. Well, you know me. I would surely have answered with a high degree of intellegence for a boy my age. Something she could quote to her friends for years to come. I said - - - “I dun no”.

Now there was the long term and very telling mistake. There was the mistake I have had to live with. But for me the dye was cast. “Did you go to a movie?” “Yes”. “Did you have a hamburger?” “Yes”. “Where’d you go then?” “I dun no”. Why’d it take so long to get home?” “I dun no”. “Did you get in trouble?” “No”. “Is the car ok?” “Yes”. And now more ominous and menacing than before, “Then where have you been?”

Now this is my great opportunity. All I have to do now is simply tell the truth. “I invited Alvin Maughan and Harry Lemmon and it took a long time to take them home.” She’d have said, “Well, I wish you had told us what you were going to do”. I’d have said, “I’m sorry”. She would have hugged me and we’d have gone to bed.

So, what did I say? I stuck by my guns. I couldn't bend. I'd never break. I said, “I dun no”.

Well, she turned and went to bed, and I went to bed. There were no hugs. No green willow sticks. I lay there a long time before I went to sleep. At first I blamed everything on her. I hadn’t done anything wrong. Then sometime that night I came to realize how very foolish and childish I had been – that I had lied – that I should have told my parents before I went what I was going to do, where I was going to go. They would have probably not let me drive so far, but that would have protected me in many ways, and I’d have been home on time and had fond memories. And most importantly, I would have earned my parents respect. I didn’t ask for the car again for a long time.

I learned a very important lesson that night. I haven't always had the courage to live it, but it was a great lesson. I've had similar lessons that have reinforced what I learned that night. I think I have come to know how very important it is. I learned that night, very early in the morning, how to just face the music and be honest – tell the truth.