"I have arrived. I am home. In the here. In the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell." --Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, February 14, 2014

Go Gadget Go - I Need You

My legs are tired. I am doing another gel as I know I must keep going. I’ve been going for over 6 hours, up and down Bear Mountain. I know the finish line is near but I am not sure how much further I have to go. The last aid station was a few miles back. I didn’t care to look at their board as I have my trusty companion on my wrist that will tell me how much I have left. I glance at my watch. Shock! Disbelief. The freaking thing is dead. A blank screen stares at me and smiles, as if it’s saying, “Got cha sucker.” Curses in my head, but onward I go to finish my first 50 K (Bear Mountain 50K).

I’ve become so dependent on my gadgets that I cannot imagine going on a run without my GPS watch. Prior to getting one, I just used a regular watch. I would go on the internet and map my run. While I was running I would try to remember all the turns in order to get my miles, prescribed by the training plan. Enter the new shiny GPS watch. No more need to figure out my route and miles. I can just go out and run and know exactly where I am. After many, many times running the same loop, I already have a good idea of where I am going and how long something like that will take me, yet that watch stays on my wrist recording my every move.

I am a numbers guy and I need to know everything. How far, how fast, how long. I need my data.  I get very irritated when I know that the machine is wrong. "No watch, I know this loop is 5 miles. I know I was going this fast. You are wrong." I could go out without it, yet I don’t. I am shackled to my GPS signal. 

My watch does not hinder me. It propels me forward. It gives me the necessary data to keep going. It keeps me on track in my training. It tracks my progress. It helps me. Some will say to leave it at home. Without it you will be free. And I know that. I know that I would be fine. But I don’t want to. There is no reason for me to give it up. I need my data, I need my watch. 

I get mad at my watch when it is wrong, when it dies at worse possible times and when it fails to record what I need it to record. Is this obsessive? Yes, but I choose it to be this way. I choose to be controlled by this silly little device on my wrist. We have our battles, but in the end, it is all good. 

I can run, I can perform without my watch, but I choose not to.

“This is my gadget. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without my gadget, I am lost. Without me, my gadget is useless. I must use my gadget to keep me on course. With my gadget I will perform. With my gadget I will win.”
The watch is dead!


  1. HA! I remember getting on mapmyrun after all my runs to see how far I went...owning and using a GPS watch has made life much easier. Nice article, and congrats on your first 50k!

    1. Thanks! I will make sure to check out your blog!

  2. Your article made me realize that even though the advancement of science and technology has made our lives so much easier but in a way it has also made us handicapped. We rely on our gadgets for almost everything.


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