I had a Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS watch.
It cost me £480.
I lost it.
The Fenix 3 Sapphire did everything; distance, elevation, pace, stride length, VO2 max, recovery adviser, vertical ratio, heart rate, cadence, navigate, compass, it had apps, Bluetooth, altimeter, it looked badass and guess what? It told the time.
Its monstrous size left a whopping indentation in my skin on my child-like wrists but I forgave that because it was AWESOME! It assessed me when I ran, hiked, biked and swam. It promised to give me stats on almost every activity.
But you know what, I don’t even know what most of those functions were telling me. It just made me feel cool and that I knew what I was doing.
Anyway, I no longer have it.
As a minimalist-in-training, I sucked it up and told myself it was a sign and that I was ok without it. The truth was, I was sad because it was as much about the amount of money I’d spent on the watch as well as the enjoyment I got from using it. Or so I thought.
Today, 8 months later, I’m no longer yearning to replace it. I chucked on my backpack to run a short distance to the shops and realised, I do not miss looking down checking my pace, racing against myself for personal bests, mile counting and dreading the distance left to go.
I’m going to China next week to run a marathon over the Great Wall of China. There’s been a bit of training. It hasn’t been strict and I have absolutely no idea how many miles I’ve done in the last few weeks. I’m sure it’s not enough, but you know what, every one of those miles felt good. I have used my legs and feet as a way of commuting, chucking on my pack and navigating my way into town to meet friends and do my not-quite-weekly-shop-as-my-bag-is-not-big-enough run.
If I’m tired, I slow my run down. If I am feeling energetic, I speed up. I’m not chasing the clock and am enjoying running more than ever before. There is no pressure and I listen to how my body feels.
When I meet friends for a run, we can’t start before their GPS kicks in. We stand there waiting, their arm in the air trying to attract the nearest satellite. I don’t mind at all, I used to be that person, but when I think about it, it’s quite funny.
I can definitely see the benefits of training with a GPS watch; setting goals and using it to improve performance. And perhaps I’m still a little envious of those uploading each night onto Strava showing the world the effort they have put in. I think my running and performance has improved without it though. I feel more relaxed.
I am a little sad I will not be able to log my China Marathon on my Strava account, but one thing’s for sure, I will be taking in the views and enjoying every second, not looking down, counting down the miles and analysing my pace.
My goal during the marathon is to not ask anyone how far their watch says we’ve gone. Will I be able to do it? I’m not sure. But I will definitely document my adventure on here.
So, did my watch add value to my life?
It’s a bloody great watch. It was so sophisticated in its function. But not having one is sitting more in line with how I want to live my life – living with fewer items and more experiences. Not relying on technology to become better at something. Leading a more relaxed life by not worrying about losing or breaking things (Ha! That’s an ironic one). Plus, I no longer have that painful indentation on my wrist 😉
I was once told by a friend who I consider wise – the more you have, the more you have to lose. I lost my watch.
My post was inspired by The Minimalists: An Apple Watch Won’t Give You More Time.