Smartphones have indisputably made my life better.
There was a time, not too many years ago where my bag was burdened with a cell phone, a digital camera, a PDA (NB: that is a personal digital assistant, not a public display of affection, you technology neophyte), and a music player. Today all those things are housed in a sleek little smartphone.
My shoulder thanks the late, great Steve Jobs for considerably lessening my load.
But it was a long road getting here.
Do any of you remember the original car phones from Motorola? They looked just like the ones you had at home, cord and all, but they plugged into your cigarette lighter.
Being a cutting edge technology adopter I had to have one. Life was good; I was the boss. I could make a phone call while I was driving. Sadly that is the only place I could make a call. It was neither mobile nor versatile, and therefore short-lived.
Next came a long line of cell phones, each getting smaller and smaller. I hardly remember the frustration caused by texting on a T9 keyboard.
Then finally the dawn of the age of QWERTY keyboard! Life became, once again. infinitely better.
But eventually the lure of apps and a higher quality camera became too strong for me to resist.
I joined the masses and journeyed to the promised land.
I bought an iPhone. A sexy new iPhone.
And life was good.
I took beautiful photographs. I used apps to tell me where the movie was playing, if my flight was on time, and – most importantly – to track my fitness activities.
All of this worked beautifully for a few days. But then one day, while I was updating my status in the Facebook app, my sexy new iPhone suddenly went black. It shut itself down.
In fairness, it powered itself back up immediately – with no intervention on my part – but, still, who wants a phone that just decides to turn itself off?
I wanted a smartphone, not a smart ass.
It did it again a few days later when I was in the middle of texting. GAH!
sexy new smart ass iPhone did this every few days for the next couple of weeks. So I took it back to the store for a check up. They looked under the hood, found nothing wrong, and advised me that “it might just be working out some kinks”. I was told to keep an eye on things and bring it back if it kept up.
Off I went to Vegas, hoping smart ass would appreciate the warmer climate and stop acting like a total brat.
It didn’t. It got worse.
This was mildly annoying when it happened while I was surfing the web, checking Twitter or texting, but not the end of the world.
But then I started training for a 10k.
I used an app to track my training. At the end of the run I should have ended up with awesome statistics, like total distance, time, pace, and splits. I should have wound up with all those great insights.
Instead, my smart ass iPhone decided to turn itself off 3/4 of the way into my run.
And to make matters worse, the app, as it turns out, does not save any of the run history in the event of an unexpected phone shut down. So I had no way of knowing how I had performed.
Because, it’s not like I actually hate running or anything.
It’s not like I am a sucky runner who needs proof of how far and fast I ran so that I can feel moderately better about doing the evil deed.
It’s not like the absence of this information is basically the equivalent of me not having run at all.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???
Don’t you know that if there is no proof of the run, it didn’t actually happen???
I wish I could tell you that this only happened once, and that I immediately marched back to the store to demand a fix or a new phone. Not so.
I used smart ass to track my runs again and again and again. Each time, I’d get between half way and 3/4 of the way through the run and smart ass would shut itself down.
Every. Single. Time.
It happened in Vegas. It happened in Toronto. It happened in NYC, for crying out loud.
And then, on one particularly cold and miserable run a week ago, I found myself inexplicably doing well. My pace was my fastest to date. My legs didn’t feel like tree stumps. My lungs weren’t burning. My mind wasn’t conspiring against me.
Everything was going well, and I was tracking to hit a couple of personal records for distance and pace.
And then my music went silent. That’s always my first clue.
I snatched smart ass from my pocket, looked down at a black screen, and felt my heart drop to the pavement.
My pain and sadness quickly gave way to…
White. Hot. Rage.
Everyone has a breaking point, and I found mine that day.
I debated driving straight to the store, all sweaty and smelly, because I was determined to stop Skynet before it became fully self aware.
The smiley technogeeks working at the purveyor of demonic cell phones listened to my sad story and then happily offered me a swap. They would take Skynet and I would get a brand new phone.
I felt ever-so-slightly bad as I handed the evil device over to the unsuspecting nerd.
But then I came to my senses.
I’m happy to report that the NEW sexy new iPhone has worked flawlessly. It’s smart, but not a smart ass.
So now I have no excuses not to train for that 10k. Wonderful.