“I wish my water bottle would email me when the battery is low like my watch does,” is the exact phrase that I said today while getting out of my car to go running. I wasn’t thinking about the oddness of these words as they came out of my mouth. I was disappointed and very serious about the problem, which my friend pointed out was really ridiculous.
“Five years ago, that would have sounded very strange,” she told me as we walked to the track to stretch. I agreed and stated that even two years ago it would have sounded odd. To which she replied that she wanted to “travel back in time and tell my slightly younger self that these words would come out of my mouth at some point.” I laughed. She is not a fan of my water bottle, and despite her heavy use of technology she is not a huge fan of all of the tracking which all of our devices are doing these days.
We both use the GPS on our phones to track our miles while we run, but I also use my awesome new Fitbit Blaze to track my running, walking, sleep, and heart rate. She wants one for all of those things, but she doesn’t take the next step I have with my daily tracking of my life. I track my food, my fluid intake, my mood, and anything I can find a free app to use with my phone track my daily everything. I don’t do this because I think it is fun to input my calorie intake or because I am in desperate need to lose weight. I do this because of gastro paresis.
I decided last month, after taking control of almost every part of my life again that my health was the last step I needed to get under control. For my anxiety and short bouts of depression I found an app that actually got me interested in running. (“Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”) It is the Zombies Run app and I have been recommending it to everyone I know who is both game oriented and wants to start getting active. I also tell my gym rat friends if they are into Zombies—which means all of my friends have been told to get this app. If it gets my friend to run, then it can get anybody to start running. It is super fun, especially if you are a gamer and in any way into Zombies.
I started with the other tracking apps because I wanted to see what foods might be triggering my stomach flare ups, as well as noting whether it was food or anxiety that might be contributing more to them. So far I have only had one really sick morning since I started tracking, and that was today. I also forgot to put in what I ate yesterday, so I am not sure of the exact causes of this morning, but I recovered by third period and just kept going. If there was an app that would remind me to record what I ate as well as the app to put it in I would probably use that too. I just don’t think they can create an app to know when I am eating in order for my phone to yell at me to scan the barcode.
With all of the crazy in my life right now, the tracking of my everything seems pretty mundane, but I have health reasons I use to justify it. If I didn’t have my stomach problems I would have to monitor my food. If I wasn’t prone to kidney stones, I wouldn’t need a water bottle to tell me to remember to hydrate and keep drinking. You would think that after 16 years of having to monitor my fluid intake I would be better at it now, and I was until I started teaching.
While I love my job most of the time, I am drinking less during the day than I used to before I started teaching, and this is something I can’t have. Kidney stones suck and if I have to buy a fifty dollar Thermos to remind me to drink more while teaching Greek mythology this makes sense to me. Fifty dollars to save me pain and the expense of doctor’s visits as well as potential hospitalization, this is a reasonable expense for my life. It isn’t like I need more than one. I just need it to email me when it’s battery is low, just like my watch does.