I am referring to the Apple Watch I wear, which is a bit of a nag in a helpful way.
The watch was a thoughtful gift from my daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, John. The device measures, when requested, my heart rate, my blood’s oxygen level, EKG, sleep, activity etc. Before I walk, I click on the Workout app that will measure the distance I go, plus other aspects. Being linked to my other Apple products, it notifies me when I’ve gotten a text or call, plus whatever else I want to check, including weather, time, email etc. It even tells me how to drive home without my asking.
But back to the bossy part. The watch constantly reminds me to get moving and keep moving. If I go inside a store or the library, it questions whether I am still in my outdoor walk mode. Okay, okay, I hit pause, and try to remember to hit resume when I leave.
It advises me to meditate and then times me when I do. It bugs the heck out of me to stand and move a little every hour, which honestly can be a bit inconvenient. My reward? Encouraging statements that I’ve met certain goals and a spinning ring of light to celebrate.
Since getting the watch, I have set a daily walking goal of two miles, which most days I can achieve. I have several different routes in my village, and thankfully, all are circular. As I walk, at a pretty good clip, I note the architecture of the houses I pass. I will stop at the Free Little Libraries to check out the selection. Sometimes, a freight train will be passing through, and I will admire the artistic graffiti on the box cars. There’s the Deerfield River, whose surface and quantity of water depend on the amount of rain and snowfall, plus two bridges, including the Bridge of Flowers that will reopen next month.
I pass people, often walking their dogs, or going on a village trek like me. Occasionally, I see something odd like a weird bumper sticker. The oddest? Definitely, the red bra that was hanging at the railroad crossing. What was up with that?
I am usually alone on my walks although sometimes Hank will join me. I would like to expand to other routes — there’s a very hilly one I want to try — and head to the state parks in our area, which will make that more of a hike. That should please my watch.
I don’t take sticks for village walks although each does have a significant rise in elevation, as my watch will note, but I might for those hikes I plan. I recall interviewing Doug Scott, who wrote guide books about Taos, New Mexico. (Hank and I lived there for 11 years.) Doug told me he carries a stick whenever he goes on long treks off trail, typically one he might find on the ground. Doug says he doesn’t intend the stick to be a weapon but it has a definite purpose should he encounter a wild animal. His theory is an animal can’t carry a stick so when it encounters a being who can, it commands respect. The animal knows the human is a level above. It’s an intellectual thing. A magical thing. I will keep that in mind.
Well, back to my less adventurous walks — the only animals I see are dogs on leashes, cats, and plenty of birds, including a few chickens.
Today, March 20 is the first day of spring, the Equinox, but recently we have been hit hard lately with snow, including a large storm last week that knocked out power in the region. (Towns around me got three to four feet. Our village didn’t get that much.) Yesterday, a steady wind enhanced the cold temps. Frankly, it was a bit brutal.
I dressed appropriately with long johns, but I questioned whether I had it in me to take that walk. But that little watch reminded me to keep things going. So, I bundled up — yes, that’s what I looked like in the photo above and no, that’s not real fur. I only passed two people walking.
And midway on my walk, I was glad I pushed myself to do. Let me rephrase that. I am glad my phone did.
THANK YOU: I want to express my gratitude to everyone who downloaded my novel, Following the Lead, during this weekend’s freebie promo. At one point it was ranked 30th among Amazon’s free books, and readers were buying others in the Isabel Long Mystery Series. Here’s the link to all of my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Joan-Livingston/author/B01E1HKIDG