Tuesday, August 31, 2010

go go gadget shoe

There is a tiny mastermind holding me hostage. He doesn't have a gun or any sort of weapon. He hasn't made explicit threats or demands, but still, he has a hold on me. Oh yes, he has the power.

He's got a friend who looks similar but is a bit larger; clearly the muscle. One has my hands and the other has my right foot. They work together, they seem to communicate without speaking at all, and they say things about me.

I worry about the things they say.

You'd think I'd be able to overpower them since they're so small and everything...

Yep, that's a Nike Running Monitor with my ipod Nano. Two small items that plug into the ipod and attach to a shoe.

Like the Eagles singing Hotel California, I have become a prisoner of my own device.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Nike Running Monitor and its App for Facebook, the function is simple: tiny devices keep track of your runs, then proclaim your awesomeness to the internet, which prompts distant friends and relatives to praise you.

Thanks guys!

I got the tiny chip for my shoe and the widget that plugs into the ipod earlier this year. Erin had one, and that's just not fair. My brain said, "OMFG, that's so cool!" and I ran right out and threw all my dollars at a Best Buy employee to get my own.

Each time I run I happily click though the options -->New Workout -->Basic -->Playlist -->Go!

Clicky Clicky Clicky GO!

Very satisfying.

I trot along clutching my ipod (wrapped safely in its neoprene Bat Suit should I accidentally throw it or sweat on it). I obsessively shift it from one hand to the other, using each pass as an opportunity to look down at the tiny orange screen and verify that it still knows I'm running.

I'm such a badass. I smile and nod to myself, maybe I laugh a little, people at the gym think the quiet girl has finally lost it.

Then, one day, disaster.

My running monitor wouldn't load. There would be no way to record my time, distance and calories burned on my ipod Nano. No way.

OMG! What happens now?! My head was spinning, my thoughts rapid and jumbled...I can't...I can't...what?...where is?...hello?...NO...hello?...I can't...I can't run!

Yeah, that's right, I can't run. There's no way. It's silly to even think that I could. There would be nowhere to put my hands. No record of what I've done. I'd probably have to watch Judge Judy or Fox News on the gym televisions instead of thinking about what I'm doing. Yeah. That would suck. Better just go home.

Seriously? ... I can't run? I can't swing my arms and lift my feet unless the ipod is registering my steps? Hold on...doesn't this treadmill have a screen that tells me how far and fast I'm going?


How in the world did I take running, the most natural human action next to smiling, and turn it into something that requires an equipment arsenal?

In fact, I can run without the bells and whistles. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know I've done it before. I run the same way I always do: with my back straight and my arms comically low, for an obscenely long time, grinning like an idiot. A parody of a perpetual motion running robot.

I'll still use the running monitor after I fix it because I enjoy its features. But from now on, I'll take extra care not to get so caught up in it that I forget why I run in the first place. Fitness, a sense of accomplishment, and the pure joy of moving through the world by my own power.

Now I'm left to wonder what else I've added 10 extra steps to. And what I can do to simplify. There must be at least a few other things that I've forgotten how to do the real way.

A couple weeks ago, we were sitting outside after the sun had gone down and Greg told me it was 93 degrees. It had been a hot day but had cooled considerably. The air felt like it was about 75, with a light breeze.

"I don't think it's 93, Hon. I think it might have been earlier, but not anymore," I said.

"Oh, no," he replied earnestly, "it's definitely 93. It says so right here." He turned the screen of his HTC Hero phone toward me and pointed at the temperature icon.

I waved my hand around in the air, testing the temperature, unable to understand how it could still be 93 degrees. Greg made a face and looked at the screen himself, mumbling something about it not feeling that hot, but it had to be right.

Then...aha! He pushed "refresh" and the temperature gauge updated: 78 degrees.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to find my boots. My Mac says it's raining.


greg said...

very entertaining and funny!! oh and damn those gadgets that run our lives unless of course they perform flawlessly and simplify our lives.

Hank said...

Not only do you not need the gadgets, but you can do quite well without the shoes, too. :-)

BTW, congrats on your BBFR win. I ran it last year. What a hoot.

~ selina ~ said...

Greg: So true, I guess I never complain about the microwave :-D

Hank: Thank you! The BBFR is a blast.

I haven't tried running any kind of distance without shoes but I'm not opposed to the idea. Running in sandals is something I do fairly often and I love it.