Saturday, April 07, 2007

Triathlon Hero

The triathlon world is filled with insprirational stories of people whose lives have been transformed by the sport. Some have new-found confidence in the workplace. Some have developed deeper relationships with loved ones. Others have used triathlon to find courage the face serious illness. None of that is important though. Because for me, triathlon has made me a better Guitar Hero player.

For those squares out there, Guitar Hero is a videogame where notes fly at you on screen and you have to strum a guitar-shaped controller to hit the notes. It's great. (Read about my first Guitar Hero experience.) Tri Team Tammy sent me an article about a local bar that had a "Guitar Hero Night". Basically, it's just like karaoke; you sign up, the bartender calls you up on stage and you play the game.

Last Wednesday I went to the bar - not to play - just as a reconnaissance mission. I wanted to scope the place out, figure out what the vibe was, and then I'd go back with a group of people. It was awesome and looked like a lot of fun. But there was a problem. The game has four levels: easy, medium, hard, expert. I'm kind of a medium-hard player, and pretty much everyone who was going up was hard-expert. Everyone was better than me, and I didn't want to embarrass myself.

Then I started thinking about the Tri Team. I remember how nervous I was going to those first workouts, thinking that I didn't belong there. (That will sound silly to half of you, the other half will know exactly what I mean.) But I went, and things worked out OK. Even today, in many of my group rides and runs I am the slowest person there. And I've learned to be fine with that. I figured if I can be the slowest person in a workout, I can certainly get on stage with a toy guitar in front of a bunch of goth dorks. I put my name in, and I challenged myself: rather than taking the easy way out, I went up and tried the game on the hard level. I missed a few notes, but it was awesome and I got the standard "good job" comments from people as I stepped off the stage.

I went back again this week and watched some of the "Gutair Ironmen" play "Less Talk More Rokk" (it's not one of the main songs; you have to unlock it in the in-game store.) It was a thing of beauty, and that is my goal: to get on stage and finish that song on Expert. I've already begun my training, and here is a videoclip of an early workout:

Mister P. In Training

By the way, if you want to do some speed work, Less Talk More Rokk is a great song to have on your iPod. That is if you can stand fluffy 80s-synth pop. The song starts out slow and then starts getting faster. The trick is to keep your feet in tempo with the song as it speeds up, and then see how long you can last when it's at full speed. I only last a few seconds. It will get your heart racing.

Less Talk More Rokk on iTunes


Blogger TRI Vortex said...

Maybe I can gear up, bring my bike and we can train together. Sweet...helmet and everything. lol.

6:15 PM  
Blogger timloe said...

Mike, I can say this because we're friends: That was the dorkiest video I've ever seen. I love it.

10:37 AM  
Blogger momo said...

too funny, my son loves guitar hero and we just "had" to get the newest release for xbox live.

sounds like you did great - way to put yourself out there!

10:22 AM  

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