Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Take your phone to the Y day

After work yesterday evening, I headed down to the Y. I needed to spend some quality time on the stair master before hitting the weights to wrap up what had otherwise been busy day for me.

An hour later, I finished up my time on the stair master and moved across to the weight machines.

This is all part of the routine that I follow.

So, please allow me to digress for a moment here.

Often we go through our days and are so accustom to the world around us that we by and large ignore most of it.

I too allow myself to slip between the worlds of the here and now and the world of the seemingly unimportant.

Consider this fact for the moment; for as long as I can remember the Dowd Y plays music over the speakers throughout the building. If you were to ask a member on their way out if they remembered hearing a particular song, I would suspect they might raise an eye brow and give you a questioning look. They might even tell you that the Y doesn’t play music.

As I looked around the Y yesterday, numerous members had their ear buds tucked snuggly into their ears. Many, I am sure, used it to shut the rest of the world out.

I get it. Concentration makes all the difference. Having less distractions often leads to a much better workout, and I am will champion that goal anytime.

Yet, this wasn’t the only thing that I noticed.

Like I said, enjoying your personal musing over what Y pipes in – I get it. Yet, members are going too far now. They are carrying on conversations. No, I am not talking a phone conversation. Rather, they are emailing, imessage, texting, snapchat, etc.

How can I tell you might ask? Well, first, I have a phone as well so I know a little about how to use it. Last time that I checked I didn’t need to use both thumbs to select a song and I don’t change songs every 20 to the 30 seconds.  Secondly, they tend to treat the machines as resting spot over their true purposes.

When I workout, I like to move from machine to machine to machine. Now, I vary the order mainly because I work in around others during their workouts. As long as I hit every machine on my list I am happy.

But I have been noticing this trend of messaging and working out more and more. Yesterday, I had a case in point.

When I started my weight circuit, I noticed this guy just setting on one of the machines. He head was down, and his eyes were glued to his phone. His fingers were quickly and efficiently tapping out what I can only assume was a message. From his facial expressions, I took it that the conversation wasn’t going to his liking.

I took note of the time and continued on with my workout. I moved from machine to machine. A few times I waited until others had finished so I could get into a particular one that I wanted to do. As I circled back, this guy was still setting on the same machine. Thumbs still busy going tap, tap, and tap.

A quick glance at the clock told me that he hadn’t moved in over 20 minutes.

Without realizing it he had been drawn between the worlds. Broken was his workout that he convened during the entire day. The phone that once gave him motivation and focus during his workout was now a distraction from his original goal. Temptation was allowed in.

What is the moral to this story? Well, let’s be blunt here. Yes, one’s phone can be a great assistant to having a great workout, but don’t let it become a distraction.

Turn off the notifications. Turn off the data link. Treat it like your stereo at home. Let the music be the only sensory input derived from it.

The Cool Down Runner      




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