By Sarah Colson
I asked for it: that tiny, 38 mm screen on my little wrist that chirps and dings every time I get a text; that fine jewelry that can also make me feel like the Inspector Gadget; that beautiful rose gold and lavender accessory that is sure to turn my skies blue and my status to “cool kid.” That’s right. This Christmas, I got an Apple Watch, sport edition.
It was a surprise gift, one that I had asked for jokingly, knowing that my handsome and intelligent Jonathan’s budget would not allow for the shiny trinket. However, being the brilliant man that he is, Jonathan asked for a little help (OK, a lot of help) from my mom, my brother and his fiancée, my in-laws, random people he passed on the street… to surprise me with the better-than-diamonds present for my Christmas gift.
I originally asked for the sport watch because of my love for running and fitness. This thing not only can track your mileage and pace using GPS coordinates, but also tracks your heart beat constantly throughout the day and gives you fitness updates while you run to let you know if you’ve met your target heart rate. And you can set it to tell time with the classic Mickey Mouse hands, so there’s that, too.
Little did I know, however, that this little device is also quick to let you know when you’re not meeting those fitness goals. A couple days after Christmas, I was trying to enjoy some Netflix on my phone while Jonathan and his dad tried not to cry during the Packer game, when all of a sudden my watch started dinging and vibrating, ripping me from my productivity.
“You have not reached your goal of calories burned. Go exercise,” is what the screen read.
Well, OK Mr. Gadget. Apparently my morning run didn’t cut it.
This week, millions of people will flock to gyms worldwide in the optimistic hope of setting New Year’s resolutions in the shape of fitness goals. And while some gym rats turn their noses up at the new influx of bright-eyed fitness enthusiasts, I get excited.
Six years ago, I couldn’t run a mile. The first time I tried, I gave up, walked half of it and cried. Now, I am training for my third half marathon and completed my first Spartan Super this fall. You have to start somewhere, and my humble beginnings involved a lot of crying during runs. Just ask the handsome and annoyingly athletic Jonathan.
Our biggest obstacle when it comes to getting into shape, or setting any goal for that matter, is that we really believe we just can’t do it. While I will never be the fastest runner or be able to run the farthest, the idea that I can’t meet a fitness goal no longer seems like a good excuse not to try.
The worst advice I’ve ever received went something like this: “It is unrealistic to think we can solve the world’s problems. Our young people, like you, can pour your hearts and souls into much good work, but I don’t see any realistic hope of solving the world’s problems.” Ouch.
Nothing good came from that advice, other than a brief flare-up of my old familiar stubbornness to prove that person wrong.
I passionately believe that unhealthy lifestyles and habits is one of our region’s must troubling problems. I also passionately believe that taking care of one’s body can make more than just body fat disappear—it helps reduce anxiety and stress, pumps you full of endorphins, and builds community.
So while my cute little rose gold and lavender Apple Watch may annoy me at times, I’m going to listen to it. The first step in combatting any problem in our world is to, well, take a step ourselves. Sure, it may be unrealistic and naïve to think that we can solve the world’s problems. Still, we can try to be part of the solution. And together, maybe, just one step at a time, we can help each other reach our goals. A very happy and encouraging New Year full of big resolutions to you all.