I’m 55 and have a history of buying fitness gizmos: a popular ski machine, a well-known home gym setup, hand weights, jump rope, a punching ball on an elastic string that attaches to a headband (and boxing gloves to go with it), yoga mat and yoga apps…but I also have a history of not finding gizmos motivating enough to stick with a solid routine. Perhaps that’s because I’m a former marathon runner who found 20-mile trail runs to be transcendent experiences, with “exercise” as the convenient side-effect. Perhaps I have a lousy attention span, or my brain has become so accustomed to the acceleration of information and entertainment that it needs more stimulation than it used to. Whatever. So, I ordered the Stealth, but in the back of my mind, I suspected it would become another dust-gatherer.
I was wrong.
Is it the games? The ability to get such a whole-body workout in just a few minutes? The positive reinforcement of the app telling me how long a streak I’m sustaining? The challenges that add the element of competition (if I want it)? The fantastic support of the Stealth Nation coaches and group on Facebook? The fact that, for the first time in my life, I have noticeably increased core strength?
I’m pretty sure it’s all of the above. I’m writing this on Day 116—that is, it arrived on my doorstep 116 days ago and I have used it Every. Single. Day. Since. This is absolutely the only fitness gizmo that has ever held my interest for more than a week or two, even though I am definitely a streak-obsessed person by nature. (I once prayed the Rosary every day for more than three years. Currently, I have sustained a meditation practice for 230 days and counting—and my best before that was almost 1000 days. Yep, I’m a “streaker” for sure.)
The Stealth has become one of the best parts of my day. On weekdays, I get home from work, check in with my wife and our cat, and then do some Stealthing before I cook dinner. When I first started, I could barely do a minute before my limbs turned to mush. Now my record for continuous play is 12½ minutes; I aim for a daily total of at least 15 minutes over several games; and in the Everyday September challenge, I’m neck-and-neck with another player as we keep trading first and second place. That challenge has also pushed me to play some of the games that I don’t like as much—which has been good for me, both mentally and physically (Bubble Blast is hard!). My favorites remain Color Chase and Stealth Invaders, so if I feel like going for a new continuous PR, I choose one of those. When there’s time, I add cardio on a bike trainer or ride my Halfbike around the neighborhood. On weekends, I maintain my streak, but if I’ve done a ton of yard work, I just do a short Stealthing.
Yep, I’m a Stealther—for good.