Zombies Are Good For Your Health

As of the first of the year, my awesome gym situation at the blind center ended. It’s a long story, basically the hours changed and it didn’t work for me anymore. I had decided I would join a gym and was going to wait until February for the resolution rush to die down before I picked a gym and signed my life and soul away in a contract. My apartments have a little fitness room but it only works for me this time of year because in the summer, it’s way too hot to walk there and the room isn’t cool enough.

While I waited for February to roll around, I decided I’d do my TRX for strength training and dance for cardio. I get so bored with dance though. I don’t know enough moves haha! I decided to try this app I’d been hearing a lot about on Twitter. It had also been posted about at AppleVis so I knew it was mostly accessible. I remember reading something about the supplies part of the game not being accessible, but I just wanted the exercise part. I wanted to run from zombies.

Um, what? Did I read that right? Zombies?

You read that right. It’s an app called Zombies, run! and I absolutely love it! When I first started hearing about the app I didn’t think I could play it because I can’t go running outside and I have no treadmill but I started seeing other blind people talking about running around in their apartments or even just running in place. The more I heard about the app the more I wanted it and it has quickly become my favorite app aside from Fleksy.

Zombies, run! is basically an audio game. You can select the length of your missions, about thirty minutes or about an hour, you select your music playlists, choose whether you want it to shuffle or not, decide if you want to enable zombie chases, start your mission and begin pumping those legs.

The first story mission, (choose this mode to listen to a developing story you’re a part of with every run) starts with you riding in a helicopter. You are going to be dropped into a settlement where survivors of the zombie apocalypse need your help. Unfortunately your helicopter doesn’t quite make it and you have to run if you’re going to get to the settlement and safety. There is a man talking into your headphones, saying he can see you but he’s not sure you can hear him. I literally waved my arms above my head hahahaa!

EAch mission develops the story from there and you get to know the characters as you run each time. When the mission is over, radio mode is enabled and your music keeps playing along with fun voice clips. I do my long stretching sessions to radio mode. I love it!

Ok, wrote all that yesterday and now I’m writing tonight after doing a zombie run this morning. I jotted down some notes after today’s run so I wouldn’t forget. I finally got the hang of the zombie chases. For whatever reason my first several runs did not include any zombie chases even though I had GPS enabled. Then all of the sudden a few runs ago, I had a zombie chase, but I was caught even though I pumped my legs like crazy. To describe it exactly, I pretty much reenacted the Maniac scene in Flashdance. If you’ve never seen that movie, I’m sorry.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to read tutorials which I did not too long ago. I should have from the start. Oh well haha! I learned that when the zombie chase starts, your pace needs to pick up for up to a minute. Oh! So today I had two zombie chases and I evaded the mobs both times. Go me!

I also tried something new today. If you’re not blind, I’m sorry. If you are blind, chances are you have a white cane. This worked perfectly today to keep me running in one spot. I get the best results by mimicking running as best I can in one place in my apartment. It also happens to be right under an air vent. The problem was, I was drifting and bumping the walls if I didn’t hang on to a wall. But that seemed to constrict my movements. So today I jammed my white cane in the corner where the floor and wall meet and it worked like a charm! I was able to still pump the arm that held the cane but I didn’t drift and bump the walls.

Today I had to wonder if other runners get so into the game. I’ve really gotten in to the character of Runner 5. That’s who you are as a player. I wave at the guys when they say stuff, today I talked to them saying things like, “I’ll get that package!” Then I laugh at myself and think, I’d never have this much fun if I was doing this at the gym or on the streets. Then after the run was done and I was stretching while I took off my knee braces and sneakers, I was imagining the other inhabitants of Able Township walking by and patting my back since I had just returned from a mission with a very important box. I imagined that they all knew by now that I can’t really talk when I get back from a mission because I must cool down and stretch and stuff. Is it the goofy writer in me?

I really enjoyed radio mode today as I stretched. Jack and Sam I believe their names are, and today Janine got some talk time in which was funny. I just love radio mode! I have a playlist I created called Zombies Run that I have selected and Sam and Jack will talk a bit and then say they’ll play a song, so it’s like they’ve selected the songs you’ve selected. Today they said something like, this may or not be a Canadian we play next and I wanted so badly for one of the Canadian artists I have in the playlist to play, but alas, twas Abba.

Ok, That’s all I have for now. I adore this app! Oh, random funny from today, as the computer voice told me which supplies I picked up, “crutches” sounded an awful lot like “crotches”. Hahaha! Just imagine a robot computer voice saying, “collected too pairs of crotches”. Hmmm. Zombie crotches?

Oh wait! I can’t end this yet because I forgot the best part. The developers are working on Zombies, run! 2 and guess what? it’s going to be completely accessible. Do you know how excited I was to find out about this the other day? I’ve been able to manage supplies on the website which I found out after I got a mission that couldn’t be unlocked because I hadn’t supplied the hospital. I asked the @ZombiesRunGame Twitter account if there was some way around this and I got an answer immediately, that it should work on the website and sure enough it did. But in the next version of the game, the developers are making the supplies part of the phone app accessible. Yay! I adore developers who care! Needless to say that with my TRX and this app, I won’t be signing away my first born child to a gym. Yay!

Ok this turned into a monster post. Or rather a zombie post. Ba dum bum, ching!

*Addendum* this just in, click here to read about how Zombies,run! was born.

6 Comments

Filed under accessibility, accomplishment, blind tips, cool product, funnies, gratitude, iPhone, music, plugs, silly girl, twitter me this, white cane, workouts

6 Responses to Zombies Are Good For Your Health

  1. Yay for not having to spend money on a gym membership! Haha! I’m so glad you like this app. I have really enjoyed it since I got it last fall.
    I have noticed that it has worked a whole lot better for me since the iOS 6.1 update last month. Before then when I just ran in place, using the accelerometer, I never got zombie chases. I only ever got chased when the GPS was enabled. However, if I just ran around inside my apartment there wasn’t always a big enough change in my position registered with GPS in order for the app to measure my speed correctly. I’m guessing this might have been your problem in the beginning too, because zombie chases are only activated if you’re moving within a certain speed range (I think it’s between about 2 and 8 miles per hour when using GPS). Since the latest iOS and app updates though, I finally get chases using the accelerometer when I run in place, and it seems to work better with GPS too.
    During zombie chases, for me, it helps me to keep the faster pace if I count the beeps that play following the zombies warning announcement – each zombie chase is roughly 20 beeps long for me (though this varies a bit depending on your speed and/or how close the zombies are to you). Also, chases will happen about every 10 minutes, which for me usually equals out to one every couple of songs depending on how long the story clips last in between.
    I get really into it too, but I think I’m only on story mission 15 or 16 (and I’ve only done a couple of supply missions), because lately most of the time I have just been running to radio mode – Jack and Eugene are hilarious! I also think it’s neat that the app includes race missions now too, but I haven’t attempted any of those yet.
    L-Squared recently posted..WIP Wednesday: Lots of Dots (Week 8)My Profile

  2. Ro

    Eugene! Why did I call him Sam? Who’s Sam, isn’t there a sam? Haha! Yeah I think the app just got used to how I move now that I’ve figured out the best way to move. I mostly jog in place now, so I’m able to keep up a steady pace that way. Once I started really figuring out how to simulate running, things started working much better. That’s awesome that zombie chases work with the accelerometer now. I wonder if that was part of the last ZR update.

    I can’t wait until it’s time for my next run!
    Ro recently posted..Zombies Are Good For Your HealthMy Profile

  3. Sam is the comms guy that usually talks to you during the story missions.
    Chases using the accelerometer have worked for me since around the beginning of February, but with the accelerometer you don’t get a total distance ran; it just gives you a step count.
    L-Squared recently posted..WIP Wednesday: Lots of Dots (Week 8)My Profile

  4. Ro

    Yeah, I’m always getting the missions guy confused with the radio guy. They sound the same haha. Same actor? 😉
    Ro recently posted..Zombies Are Good For Your HealthMy Profile

  5. Luis

    Hi!,

    Sam and Eugene are not the same actor :P.

    As L-Squared said is there a minimum and maximum speed for the chases to occur, and with accelerometer is calculated by steps per minute, and when chases happen you have to increase your pace between 10 and 20% to avoid the zombies.

    There is also 3 configurations for the accelerometer: pocket, hold in hand and in an armband, as you are running in the place and not in a treadmill maybe you could try to put the device into a pocket or in different locations in your body. Cause we calculate the energy received by the device, and maybe if you are running in the place and holding in your hand for example, your hand is cushioning the movement of the device, and the calculation of the steps is wrong, just try different settings .

  6. Ro

    Hi Luis! Ok, I’m going to listen even more closely to Sam and Eugene now. Sure they aren’t brothers? 😉

    I’m going to stick with the GPS because that is working well and I like the way my distance is calculated. I run in a running top with pockets at the small of the back, so I put my iPhone there. I think it’s picking my movements up fairly well there, though I would like to get an armband because that back pocket gets sweaty haha!

    My calves are so freaking sore from the two mobs I evaded on Wednesday. Owwww but I love it!
    Ro recently posted..Zombies Are Good For Your HealthMy Profile

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