Matt HealeyThursday,2 January 2014

The Snap:

This past holiday my wife got me a fitbit. This is an insidious little device that allows you to track your workouts, how many steps you take each day, the number of flights of stairs you climb, calories burned, etc.

The Download:

The reason I say it is “an insidious little device” is that if you have a tendency to be a bit OCD, as I do, then it kind of takes over your life. So you do things like adjusting your workouts, or in my case expanding them, so that you hit the minimum number of steps, floors climbed, and distance walked. The other problem is that it does not do very well at tracking things like biking since it is effectively a pedometer and seated activates do not trigger the accelerometer. So, if you ride the bike, then it doesn’t register. That means that after 30 min on the bike, you then have to also run a few miles to get to the minimum number of steps taken. This degree of OCD has caused me to add another element to my daily workouts. I now run up and down a flight of stairs 20-25 times at the end of each workout. The interesting thing is that at the bottom of the stairs at the gym is a basketball court. This means that I get to watch other people play hoops while I run stairs.

Generally there is not a game going on. It is merely a few guys shooting the ball. I can understand this — after all, my family will go to the driving range and hit golf balls for a few hours, so a few hours of shooting hoops makes sense to me. However, what I have become very impressed by is what these guys make. Driving the lane, jumping with some spectacular twisting, ball fake, underhand layup move. The level of athleticism that these weekend warriors display is really impressive. Up until the point where the ball bounces off the rim and out of the hoop. They never score. But they look really good up to that point. And if you could get points for style, they would get a ton. Actual points, not so much. But it is not just the layups, it is impressive turn-around fade away jump shots from well beyond the 3 point line that bounce harmlessly off the front of the rim. Dribble fake pull up jumper that hits the backboard, then the side of the rim and then the floor without ever passing through the net.

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Image Credit: Flickr

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