Sunday, March 13, 2022

Marionette man - 3.13 #sol22 Story Challenge

While today started extra dark here, mild weather returned. So once the natural lights came on, I went running.

I brought along my (debatably) smart watch, acquired to support training for an ambitious adventure last summer -- one which I'm holding in reserve for a later slice. For this morning's foray, I was counting on my device for some faux extrinsic motivation. I dialed up an option called "Running Coach" and selected a program that would guide me through an accelerating sequence of paces. The watch face would update me on how I was doing in relation to the target, and a synthesized voice (coach!) would prompt me, too.

During the warm-up zone, the watch frequently told me to, "Slow down," or cautioned, "You're going too fast." I eventually reached a point where I heard, "Nice pace" and "Keep it up." From time to time, the watch asked a question that I presume must be rhetorical: "How are you feeling?" I did try answering out loud later in the run, wanting to see what would happen, and nothing did except momentary shortness of breath. (This particular Running Coach program did say I would have a hard time holding a conversation during the workout.)

One exchange left me convinced the watch was messing with me. It delivered this message: "Lengthening your stride can quicken your pace. Give it a try." Dutifully, I did. The next words out of the watch's speaker-mouth were, "Slow down a little." Thanks for nothing, backseat driver on my wrist. Once home, I muted the watch's sound. It'll stay that way until I feel the next urge to have my strings pulled.

7 comments:

  1. Too funny! Assistive Technology Fail! I feel this way whenever I use GPS. I love it when it says "You have reached your destination", but you can't see the destination anywhere. That happened to me Friday night. I finally found it with no because to the British accent directing me. Maybe your watch and my GPS are related.

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  2. I actually laughed out loud at your post. The parentheses added so much humor-- you should use this as a mentor to show the power of punctuation (to anyone who will listen!)

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  3. I don't run, but if I did I am pretty sure I would be hesitant to wear anything that talked....unless it was " you are amazing." Thanks for the post. Kudos to you - not your watch.

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  4. The pacing and humor of this slice was spot on. I feel your watch coach is now in my head. Love the analogy to a backseat driver on your wrist.

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  5. Heeheehee - I think you have better timing than your watch. Hilarious.

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  6. Ha! Great post. It's a bit creepy when they start talking without you saying anything. Not sure what I would do if that happened in the middle of a run, though. I like how you decided to mess with it.

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  7. Machines! I remember those science fiction stories in which machines take over the world 🥺

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