Monday, March 10, 2014

Technology, walking, and passing some chick like she was standing still.

Sunday, I went for a walk.

It was hot Sunday, but I was feeling guilty about the matzoh ball soup, cake, delicious omelette with bacon, fried chicken fingers, tacos, chips and salsa, cookies, scrambled eggs with butter, and other various bad things I had eaten since Friday, so I put on my sneakers, and, while Patrick was giving JP a much needed, "daytime bath," took off.

I've been a little lost without my Fitbit Force, which I returned about a month ago. No, I didn't (surprisingly) come down with the dreaded mystery rash many Fitbit Force users succumbed to, but instead, my Force just stopped worked. The display would freeze, and then the thing stopped recording my activity. Patrick returned it for me, got a store credit from Best Buy, and advised me to sit tight until whatever Fitbit replaces it with comes out. I've also had a few people telling me that Apple may (or may not) be working on a fitness band, too... which is intriguing. In any case, without my Force, I've been using the (horrible, I do not recommend, I downloaded this thing years ago and need to upgrade) app "Map My Walk" on my iPhone. I hate this app. Maybe if your activity (run, bike, walk, whatever) is continuous, it's OK, but because I usually walk with my toddler (who sometimes wants to get out of the stroller, and who, when he gets out of the stroller, sometimes wants to pick a dandelion... or twenty) and because sometimes you have to stand there and wait for a light to change before you can cross the street... it's not a good fit. And, I hate having to pause my workout - it should intuitively know that I'm not dead or slacking but that I'm waiting for something important (a green light). The last few times I used it, it didn't even actually "map" my "walk" (I know for a fact that I walked at least 2 miles, and it only logged 0.6). And the stupid thing doesn't count steps (it's not a pedometer, so calling it stupid for not doing something it doesn't bill itself as being something it even does is unfair, but I just want you to see how useless this app is for my purposes), so whatever. Oh, the "pace" thing drives me nuts. Normally I'm not at all interested in how fast or slow I am going - I walk as fast as I can, and that may be pretty slow, but telling me I'm walking a 25 minute mile pisses me off, and not in a "get out there and go!" kind of way.

So anyway, it was hot Sunday, and I had shorts on for the first time all year (these shorts... are not cute. But when they fit me, I get excited, because they tend to feel small), and my big goofy floppy hat, and I took off. I decided to check out a new bunch of streets on the other side of Bellflower (judging the exteriors and yards of the houses in the immediate vicinity of my own home has gotten to be very boring), and I was feeling pretty good, if also pretty sweaty as I was coming home (gone for about 40 minutes; hence the 2 mile estimation). Then I spotted a woman ahead of me.

She was dressed in jeans, wearing sneakers, a pink jacket, a pink baseball cap, and was carrying a lightweight burgundy sports bag over her right shoulder. I was pretty sure she'd gotten off the bus, so she hadn't been walking for long. Her hair was long, straight, brown, and pretty, and as I approached her, I realized a couple of things.

1. This woman was not old. She was my age or younger.
2. She was probably on her way to the park for a game.
3. I was going to have to either slow down to avoid passing her, or... stay at my pace and pass her.

This kind of thing causes me all kinds of unnecessary anxiety. I like to say that I'm not competitive... but dude: I totally am. I know when I'm outclassed, though, and I accept that (usually). But, I had to do it, so I passed her.

"Excuse me!" I said.
"Oh! Sorry!" she said.
"Have a nice day!" I said.

Now, if she'd decided to break into a run or something (attack me, for example), I would've been screwed. Outclassed: I know when it happens. But she didn't, and so, in passing her, in my dorky old green Gap shorts and big ass floppy hat, I felt pretty good about myself. That I did it with a sweaty smile makes it feel even nicer.

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