I took a jog yesterday for the first time in months and I can honestly say it was one of the best jogs I have ever taken. Not because I made excellent time or added an extra half mile, it was because I did it without my apple watch. My watch had not been lost or damaged, so you may be wondering why I would do such a thing. In order to fully explain I need to back up a little.
On August 1st I decided to say goodbye to my Apple Watch. It was a fairly big decision since it had been part of my everyday attire for almost six years. I remember how excited I was when my spouse gave me my first apple in 2015 for my birthday. It made me feel cool and ‘techy’ when I wore it. While purchasing my second brought about a sense of empowerment, buying my third felt almost necessary. The newer ones had more features, cooler colors, and touted more resiliency to water. Clearly my watch was outdated and I headed to the apple store to do some shopping.
The truth is that I ditched my watch for multiple reasons. One being the radiofrequency waves needed for constant Bluetooth connectivity and another was simply that it was over inundating. It’s similar to how those cute little nuances about someone when you start dating can turn into the most irritating habits after years of togetherness. I no longer liked that it paired with all the applications on my phone. The constant dings of text messages, Instagram notifications, and news updates were slowly driving me into insanity. I had to ask myself, “So what if I missed a call or a message”? I would see it when I would be reunited with my phone in only mere minutes. The watch was constantly monitoring my heart rate, my sleeping habits, and I was compelled to answer it once while indisposed. I will admit answering my watch while in the ladies’ room was a really low point earlier this year.
For all those reasons and several others, I said: “goodbye irritating Apple Watch” just weeks before my fortieth birthday. I did experience a slight bit of anxiety as I let it go. For the first time my wrist looked extremely naked. Each time I glanced down at my arm hoping to see the time, temperature, or the number of steps I had taken that day, I was obviously disappointed. These feelings of disappointment and anxiety only reinforced I had made the right decision.
The lack of my apple watch had now created space on my wrist for something more traditional. I was hoping to find that companies still manufactured old fashioned watches. You know, those functional pieces of jewelry that we wore previously which showed us the time and had a little dial on the face of it. I started my new watch search on Etsy, one of my favorite shopping sites. To my surprise tons of people still sell daily-wear watches and they were in my price range.
Back to yesterday’s lesson
Why was my jog yesterday so amazing? It was amazing because I felt free. I felt strong, well and slightly a little winded (I need to start jogging more often). Oblivious to how far I went, if I kept up my ten-minute mile, or if my heart rate got above 170. I jogged for myself, for my mind, and my body. It helped clear my thoughts and inspired me to write this wonderful article after my 12-week writing slump over the summer.
Ditching my apple watch made me realize something else important too. These devices we are all attached to are there for support and encouragement, but they don’t replace our reasons for doing things. We exercise because it’s good for our bodies, our minds, and aids us in emotional processing. I did not glance down every 45 seconds to check my distance. I didn’t try to kill myself speeding up or slowing down based on what I saw on the watch screen. When I had the energy I sped up and when I got winded I slowed down.
Applications that track items for preexisting health conditions are important. Devices we use to train for competitions or marathons are beneficial. I truly believe tracking watches can serve a purpose. I just started to be concerned for myself; that my apple watch was in charge of me and not the other way around.
The Great Outdoors
While I was jogging yesterday I waved at other people and smiled. It was giving me the opportunity to look at the houses in our neighborhood. I noticed this strange-looking bush I had not seen previously. When I saw it, I stopped to take a closer look because there was nothing tracking my speed. Comically enough a lizard jumped out at me. Well, jumped is not exactly accurate, more like scurried I almost had a heart attack but laughed as I realized that other animals live out here in nature. What’s important is that I went outside and interacted with the world. Being out there unemcumbered was healthy for me in so many ways, even generating a little inspiration.
I encourage you to disconnect and maybe go for a walk if you are physically able. There are beautiful things and people in this world if you will be open to them. God gave us all these extradonary gifts that we shouldn’t miss out on. Enjoy life a little without the electronics. 🙂