Saturday, February 6, 2010


I never cease to be amazed how readily the young adults who were formerly known as my children overlook my technological limitations in an attempt to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Earlier this week - on the big 4-3 - Rob sent me a cryptic birthday e-mail. The "Happy Birthday" portion of it I was able to comprehend. It was the portion of it telling me that he was sending me a birthday gift that was going to help start a bit of 'friendly competition' that threw me for a loop.

Last night the gift arrived. It is a gadget called a "Nike + iPod". It gets placed inside the sole of your running shoe and somehow (I have not quite mastered the owner's manual yet) it talks to your iPod. Well, talk might be a misstatement. Apparently it communicates with your iPod so that the little monitor in the shoe reports to the iPod how far you have run, the pace at which you have run, etc. And the really cool thing about it is that you can keep track of not only how you are faring but also how someone else is faring as well.

And therein lies the really neat part of the gift. Rob and I are going to next see each other on Memorial Day weekend. I am going to Colorado to hang out with him for a few days and we are going to spend Memorial Day running together in the Bolder Boulder, which is a 10K race. That is - in and of itself - a great thing. I am looking forward to it very much.

But as he tends to do, he has gone above and beyond. To ensure that both of us are ready to go - and can support one another from 2 time zones away - he has come up with an inventive, fun way for us to good naturedly compete with one another as we prepare for the race. We shall be able to monitor how much running the other is doing and how well the other is running as we gear up for our big moment on Folsom Field. As if fear of collapse is not enough to make sure that I prepare properly for the race, I now have motivation in the form of Rob's vigilance.

I take help in any form in which it manifests itself - particularly when it manifests itself as my son's most excellent intentions - and even if it manifests itself in the form of technology I do not completely understand. While I hate snow, maybe a day or two worth of it this weekend will do me some good. Sure it will impact my ability to run but it will give me a chance to learn how to use my new gizmo.


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