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A few years ago, I decided it was time to get in shape. I wanted to adopt a more active lifestyle to counteract the sedentary hours spent at my desk job.

So I thought to myself: What can I do to get active without having to invest in expensive exercise equipment, gadgets or gym memberships? I know, running! Or, as my uncle – a former longtime marathon runner – likes to call what I do, slogging (slow jogging).

It seemed the most logical choice given my criteria. I was told: “All you need is a good pair of running shoes.” So I turned my soleless tennis shoes in for a decent pair of sneakers and hit the road slogging.

I began by slogging down my street, expanded my route to around the block and, before long, I found myself competing in 5K races. Well, I use that term loosely. I wouldn’t really call it competing, rather more like registering and checking off the box that says “running with walking breaks.”

It wasn’t long before I realized that I needed the proper attire to go with my new sneakers, because the cotton jersey shorts and tank tops just weren’t cutting it, to say nothing of my underclothes. Moisture-resistant tanks, shorts, socks, underwear and sports bra were an absolute must.

So, too, were the sweat-proof, wrap-around headphones, designed to go around your ears so they don’t bounce out, that I purchased to plug into my smartphone, which I keep firmly grasped in a death grip so I can listen to the “10 best songs to run to” play list I downloaded.

Now that I think about it, another essential item was the durable hardcover case I purchased for my phone (in the same color to match my running getup) for protection against a potential drop from my sweaty palms to the unforgiving pavement below. Can you even imagine such a catastrophe – a fall at such a high rate of speed?

And where would I be had I not purchased that armband with the Velcro strap that solved the sweaty palm issue and keeps my phone securely fastened at my side. I’ll tell you where I’d be – still at the starting line.

Who even cares that I have to take the phone out of the hardcover case in order for it to fit into the armband, leaving it vulnerable to potential damage and the elements that I battle? Well, that’s what insurance is for. Good thing I purchased it along with the extended warranty in the event that I drop my phone or, worse, it gets swallowed up by one of Earth’s craters, otherwise known as a Western New York pothole.

Don’t get me wrong, the armband is totally worth it, considering it frees up a hand to take a swig of water. And that’s exactly why I invested in a stainless steel water bottle with a built-in straw. Just push a button and the straw pops up. I can save the environment and shave seconds off my time simultaneously. No slowing down this girl!

And how would I even begin to know the strides I’ve made since I started this journey if not for the fitness app that tracks distance, average speed and pace, calories and altitude.

But that’s nothing compared to the new fitness trackers that you simply slap on your wrist. Did I mention that they come with interchangeable bands in a variety of colors? It’s like jewelry! Hmm, what color do you think I should get?