I have a confession to make. Most of those who are close to me won’t be surprised about that one: I’m on my iPhone 5s way too much! I don’t have it in my hands all day, but I definitely have it close to me — mostly in my jeans pocket — at all times. I’m not proud of that, and I’m trying to cut down on my time on the phone. Especially around family and friends, and even at work (though at work I use it primarily to stay in touch with my girlfriend).
Now, one can say a lot about technology and our interaction with it. Is it still healthy? Are we addicted? Do we care more about our social media than real life relationships? Do we really have to be connected with everybody to the point where we are not connected to anyone at all?
Those are definitely questions to ponder, but technology has also made a lot of good for us, there is no doubt about that. The fact that I can ask my girlfriend how she and her boys are doing and get a response within seconds is truly amazing!
To get to the point, one of the biggest technology trends, perhaps ironically, has been focused on how technology can improve our lives both physically and mentally. Companies such as Fitbit and Jawbone have had huge success with their latest cutting edge technology. The App Store is literally drowning in health related apps (I’ve gone through many and deleted most after a while. One of my favorite startups, Moov, even created a sweet little device that provides live feedback during training sessions! Surely, with the arrival of the much hyped iWatch things seem to be going well for the fitness and health technology world!
One of my favorite little tools is actually very simple and lightweight yet quite powerful: Stepper 2 – a sleek step counter on my iPhone 5s developed by Timm Kandziora (@biscoditch). Every day, my iPhone 5s counts every single step I take. The beauty of Stepper 2 is that it shows my step count right on my lockscreen and statusbar. I love this little tweak because it keeps me motivated to keep moving until I reach my 10,000 steps goal!
Yesterday, I did not reach my steps goal. Not even close, but it was amazing! The sun was shining (finally here in Upstate New York). It was 50° which I consider “T-shirt and shorts weather” after a long painful winter. The day couldn’t have been any prettier, but I didn’t reach my step goal which, on any other day, would have pissed me off quite a bit!
You see, the reason I did not reach my step goal was not my inactivity. Instead, I left my “beloved” iPhone inside as I spent the entire day outside with my family. I played soccer with the boys and my girlfriend, I enjoyed the sunshine, the breeze, I let the sun burn me just ever so slightly! I had a truly amazing time and my iPhone had nothing to do with it!
Later in the evening I played in my indoor soccer league so it’s fair to say that I went way above my 10,000 steps goal. I truly do not care though; I do not need technology to tell me that I have been active.
So, will I stop looking at my screen to see how I’ve been doing today? Probably not, but for sure I will not obsess over it anymore. I do not need my phone with me at all times to be active and happy, and maybe I am more active and happy without it!
As athletes, we always look for the next big thing that will make us stronger, faster and more powerful. Lately, many of us have turned to technology. Sure, technology can help, but perhaps we need to collectively take a step back and realize that collectively, we’re over-exaggerating its importance. In a world that is more and more run by technology, maybe fitness can be that last resort! Maybe fitness can be the one thing that connects us with nature and humanity!