Recently, I replaced the band on my watch for the third time and in doing so, stopped for a second to ponder whether I had spent more on replacement bands over the past few years than I would have if I just bought a new watch. I felt a little twinge in my heart at the thought of throwing away my trusty green Garmin and then felt a little confused about why I was so attached to it. It’s just a little piece of plastic and rubber after all, and there are plenty of others out there just like it.
On my long run this morning, I remembered the day I purchased that watch. It was about five years ago, during my first ever week of college cross country practice. I showed up watchless because I had no idea I was supposed to wear a watch while running; I’d always just run until I got tired. All my teammates had watches so I headed to the local running store and bought the only watch that came in my favorite color. It has been on my wrist ever since, aside from when the band breaks every now and then.
I think I’ve come to love my watch because it is 100% honest with me, whether I like it or not. It bluntly tells me whether I’m in shape or need to work harder and it has been with me through everything. Every high and every low it’s there on my wrist, calmly ticking away, unfazed by what’s happening around it. It’s been there when I drown it in sweat during a summer workout and when I can’t even move my frozen fingers enough to pull my sleeve up and look at it during a winter run.
It’s been there for every missed standard and qualification that made me cry frustrated and angry tears onto it, more times than I can count. It’s even endured me smashing it onto the pavement during a cool down following a really crappy workout. However, it also has a knack for making me happier and more satisfied than anything. It clicks off fast miles that feel effortless and joyful, and announces when I totally kill a workout. Sometimes it makes each minute fly by faster than I ever thought possible and it listens to me when I make random and breathless conversation with it during boring training runs.
It never answers me back or does anything special for me, but it always tells the truth and pushes me to do my very best at all times which is something I can’t say for many other things or people in my life. For those reasons, I would never dream of replacing it.
Do you have a specific piece of running gear that is special to you?