In pursuit of bragging rights and a Tiffany necklace “medal,” I’m in the beginning weeks of training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this October in San Francisco. This morning, I geared up for a quick three miler. At my average nine-and-a-half minute mile pace, I calculate I wasted about two miles-worth of time firing up the Garmin, slipping on my armband, opening the Nike running app, adjusting my headphones, situating my heart rate monitor, and tossing my keys in the nifty thing-a-ma-gizmo on my shoe before running out the door. In non-training mode, all I need are my shoes and the road – but sometimes, I need my gadgets.
These days there are gadgets that do everything from sing to us while we brush our teeth in the morning to monitor our sleep at night. And while I’m certainly capable of humming “Row Row Row Your Boat” to myself to ensure I brush long enough, gizmos and gadgets are a part of my life I choose not to live without. Here’s why:
Cool Factor: An MP3 player is cooler than a Walkman, a Jambox is cooler than a boom box, and a tablet is cooler than a Trapper Keeper. The only exception: – argue if you dare – an abacus is way cooler than a calculator.
Fun Factor: Someone yelling “times up” when the faux sand reaches the bottom of the plastic hourglass is no match for the unnervingly shrill “BEEEEEEEEP!” of today’s game timers; and having a booming Navy leader-esque voice announce “You’ve sunk my destroyer” really upped the awesome factor on Battleship. Now we need to do something about those tedious pegs.
Ease Factor: I can blend an iceberg in six seconds flat with my Ninja whilst julienning a field of zucchini on my mandolin.
Hygiene Factor: Why wash my face the old-fashioned way when my Clarisonic cleans six times better than my hands alone? And really, who pumps their own soap these days?
Coach Potato Factor: Gizmos have been letting us change channels without getting up for some time, but today’s gadgets have an added bonus for the lazy among us – the built-in excuse to leave the gym when your battery dies.
Credit Factor: We humans like to get credit for our achievements – however ordinary. The happy face that alights our pedometers when we walk ten thousand steps is akin to the scratch-and-sniff “WOW!” sticker that used to arbitrarily appear on our homework.
Aside from the edge-of-my-seat wait for the inevitable hover board, I’m thrilled with how “future” today feels. And although gadgets have their downsides – I’m not even sure I know how to open a bottle of wine without a Houdini anymore and I could probably shave thirty seconds off my mile if I stripped off the hardware – damn they’re swell.
What is your can’t-live-without-it gizmo?