I went for a run recently… sans-technology… and it was magnificent.
I had been wearing my husband’s smart watch for a few weeks because my own (old style digital) watch had broken. While I had initially enjoyed the constant validation while running – telling me how far and fast, how many calories burnt, what my pulse was etc., as time went by the gimmick of it faded. Yes, it was interesting to know these things, but was it something I actually needed to know? I run for pleasure, though usually to a time rather than a distance, and while I certainly like the fact that I burn calories when running, I don’t really care how many… so how was the additional information actually benefitting me?
So a few weekends ago I took off on one of my usual routes… without any kind of watch at all – not even my backup Casio – and I just started running. Sure, I’d run the route previously so I knew approximately how far I was going, and how long it was going to take me….
But a strange thing happened – I somehow felt freer and lighter.
There was no compulsion to look down at my watch to track my performance, I didn’t wait for the tell-tale buzz every kilometre and I didn’t count down as to ‘how long I still had to go’.
I just ran.
I didn’t calculate what time it would be when I returned home, planning out the rest of my day – I just enjoyed the feeling – running under a blue sky in between golden crops of wheat and towering fields of corn.
Technology is definitely a good thing. And yes, I understand that fitness devices have been pivotal in the increased motivation and activity of society in general – and that is a great thing! But I do believe it is possible to have too much of a good thing. So every now and then, let it go – even if it’s only for the time you head out for a walk or run. Breathe the fresh air, notice what’s happening around you, be in the moment.
I may make this a regular thing!