Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 83, I Give Up...

Yes, I give up... on trying to fashion some kind of chin-up bar. I spent days combing the net, talking to carpenters, metalworkers, and even a car designer for BMW. All of the solutions were too bulky and/or expensive.

The best thing I saw came from reader Jake Sibley, who was so kind as to offer to help me with international shipping (thanks dude!). The Perfect Pullup. But they don't ship to Japan and by the time we got all the buying and intermediary shipping figured out the project would almost be over.

So, I've resigned myself to the only other choice for someone who doesn't enjoy the gym atmosphere. The playground. Yesterday I racked my brain for all the playgrounds I had seen on my adventures around Yokohama, and took a kind of Pull-up bar tour to find the best one for my purposes.

First up, the playground at Yokohama Stadium.


A little on the short side, plus, this park is always busy with one of the following, depending on time of day, a) housewives and their little kids b) elementary schoolgirls or c)drunken homeless men. Next...

Near Odori Park

Here's a jungle gym that might work... the height is right...


let's give it a try...

Agh, the parallel bars stop my shoulders from finishing the movement. No good. Onwards...

Near Minami Police Station

Here's a set next to some swings...

Uh... I don't think this is going to hack it.

I feel as ridiculous as I look. Not going to work.

Next up, a kind of neglected playground near Yokohamabashi.

Yes! It's high enough. And I'll be able to get shoulders through those gaps in the ladder rungs.


Perfect! And it's not too crowded. Plus, the kids here (you can just see them in the top right of the next photo) were pretty nice. For some reason they all started calling me Michael. Probably their elementary ALT English instructor is named Michael, and they figure if it works for one male Gai-jin it'll work for them all. Fair enough.

So, this where I'll be every third day for the next few weeks. Come by and join me for a few sets of chin-ups and the ridicule of small children.

Can't beat the price!

14 comments:

Corry said...

Hey 'Michael', very ingenious sol'n to your problem. Now those kids will be thinking foreigners like to suspend themselves from playground equipment a few times a week.

Blake said...

You could get the kids to count and encourage you. "C'mon Michael--one more!"

Patrick said...

Ha ha you two are cracking me up.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you found a viable solution. If you ever decide to get a bar for home use, you might want to check out an insanly perfect system from a company called "Beach Body", they have a bar called the "P90X" chin up bar, which is designed to go with their P90X program. I highly recommend the bar and the program! Though there is something to be said for kickin' it old school on the playground...for free!

Here is the link. Good luck.

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_gear/p90x_gear/p90x_chin_up_bar.do

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the link was too long. Just go to www.beachbody.com, under "fitness gear" click on "chin-up bar". That will do the trick

Patrick said...

Dude are you BeachBody's viral marketer? Could you tell us how the program worked for you?

David said...

"Michael", I think you should take one for the team and go with the ridiculously low one. It'll give us a good laugh which increases morale, right? :)

Patrick said...

Yeah and laughter works the transverse abdominus muscle as well...

Melissa Maples said...

Er, unless I'm severely misunderstanding what you're trying to do... the Odori Park jungle gym would have worked fine if you had just turned around and faced the other way. You know, with your head and shoulders on the outer edge of the jungle gym instead of in the middle amongst the crossbars.

I think I must be misunderstanding the goal, because that solution ("don't put your head and shoulders on the side where the obstructions are") seems painfully obvious, and you seem like a smart guy.

Patrick said...

Yeah, it would've worked fine that way, but the bar itself was really thick and hard to hold. I can use that one if I'm in that neighborhood though.

Thanks for saying I look dumb but probably am not. Best compliment in weeks! : )

Melissa Maples said...

Hahaha I didn't mean it that way! :-D

Anonymous said...

Viral Marketer? LOL. Far from it. I did the P90X program twice through, last year. Overall I liked it. I'm a personal trainer, Yoga instructor, mind/body/spirit coach, and have incorporated an integrated approach to health and fitness for years. I was looking for something to motivate me and something I could do at home after the birth of our son. The program was great to serve the intention I had at the time. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of videos, but this program was pretty good. I did get kinda burned out on it : -) As would be expected from a video workout.

Just thought I'd offer my 2 cents on the chin up bar thing as their bar required minimal installation and offered all sorts of variety and options. Sorry, not trying to sound too info-mercially : -)

Now, if I could just figure out a way to get a "kick-back" from Beach Body... HA!

Patrick said...

I really like the Beach Body bar's design, but they also don't ship to Japan :(

Anonymous said...

Bummer they don't ship to Japan. I wondered about that. Monkey bars in the park it is! Best of luck and keep up the amazing work!