Wednesday, July 17

The Activity Tracker

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If you are at least a tiny bit into sports, I bet you are or have been tended to obsess about your activity tracker from time to time.

I took up jogging at the age of 18 when I got involved in Kung Fu fearing that everyone in my class would be a Bruce Lee and laugh at my lack of stamina/definition/performance. Some of them were real Bruce Lee-s in my eyes, especially my instructor. He was the manliest man and most real fighter I’d ever seen so whatever happened I wanted to impress him. 6 months went, I was rubbish, couldn’t run longer than 8 minutes, failed my first exam, Si Fu did make fun out of me whenever he could. But he did more… kept nagging, provoking, breaking and stretching me and I also did more… kept jogging, practicing, wanting to surprise him and to improve beyond his expectations. Another 6 months went and something did happen, I really started to show signs of a great improvement – kicked and punched, shadow boxed like Liu Kang in Mortal Combat. Even though the exaggerated vision reflects my own image as I saw myself with teenage eyes, he did start to look at me in a different way… with content or a kind of pride. I looked at myself similarly, took pride of being a good student of him… we learned a lot about each other. I was his student for almost 4 year, then moved away and never found a similar personality to take as a trainer. Although I don’t do Kung Fu any more, he determined my way into self-care and I still cherish those years. I am thrilled by still knowing him, seeing him going strong, teaching new students with the same toughness and determination.

My activity tracker is now my phone, tells me how many steps I take a day, how far I run, how my BMR is doing, tells me my sleep is “poor” or “fair” and the seemingly most important detail for a woman: how many calories I burn. Are any of these data accurate though? Do I listen? It’s too easy to but try not to… The figures are estimates based on an average person of the same age, height, weight, sex as you, at the same time it’s not about you. They sure motivate you and make you want to be more active but don’t obsess even if there’s a long way to go to achieve the big goal, your tracker is a robot – use it like it’s a robot. No losing sleep over the figures or a missed training, don’t want to track every bite of food or track every gym appearance with a check in. Where’s the joy of the moment going then? Just be there and then, connect with a real person, a training buddy, an amazing coach, a PT, your partner, your mates in the office trying to keep fit as much as you, share experience, take the nagging, the jokes, the tease and proceed on your way of improvement with a personal touch and the joy of knowing someone.

This is my result from yesterday, a cool image with my usual jog figures. No surprise, it DOES feel awesome and motivational but is nowhere near to the joint achievement of the gym team or the Coach’s “wait until the next training” face.

What do you all think?




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