• 45°

Technology lies

Philip Hunt

Tales of the Hunts

A few weeks ago, we celebrated my birthday. I don’t get too worked up over birthdays, but I do like to use it as an excuse to get a new toy. This year I bought a watch that keeps track of activities and heart rate. The software that comes with this watch informed me that my “fitness age” is twenty. After this weekend, I know my watch lies.

When I saw my fitness age was a decade and a half younger than my actual age, I decided I was being way too cautious. When I was twenty, I would run five miles, waterski, wakeboard, do backflips off anything into water, and then have lunch.

Those days are not even visible in the rear-view mirror.

I try to stay fit. I always like to be able to run a 10k, carry a 150 lb deer out of the woods, or go on a twenty-mile hike at a moment’s notice. But, backflips and water sports are a happy memory.

At least they were a memory until last weekend. A trip to Lake Keowee with my new watch that said I was twenty, was the catalyst for my current pain.

It all started innocently enough. A quick backflip off the boat dock would be low impact and easy. After all, my “fitness age” is twenty. With perfect form, I landed toes first in the water. As my head reaches the surface, I breathed a sigh of relief and agreed with my watch about my digitally found youth.

A few minutes later, some high school family members were crawling up an inflatable tower. It seemed as if the only way to get off the top of the tower was to backflip off. I could not let the youngsters show me up, so I went out there to show them how it was done.

With minimal effort, I made it to the top and performed another flawless backflip. My youth had returned. Nothing could stop me now. It was time to wakeboard.

My watch said that I was twenty, so I got up on the wake board and proceeded to jump the wake like I was twenty. Things were going great until the boat had to do a wide, 180 degree turn. I remembered slingshotting beside the boat in my teens and decided to give it a try.

I proceeded to perform a flawless rock skip with my entire body as I caught an edge at the worst possible moment. A 230 pound skipping human is a sight to behold I am told. All I saw was a murky Saharan dust sky before a violent roll into the deep green waters of Keowee.

Humbly, I slowly made it back on to the boat. My back hurt, my hands hurt, my shoulder hurt. I had fallen like that when I was twenty. I laughed it off then, but now I realized that the wakeboard session was sponsored by ibuprofen. Six hundred milligrams later I was making old man grunts as I got off the couch and walked to the dinner table.

My wife snickered. My parents laughed. I landed in the dining room chair with a loud sigh. My watch buzzed to let me know I was not as active that evening as normal. I looked at my watch and said “I know, because I’m not twenty. Quit lying to me.”

The smart technology is amazing. So much so, that it correlated my grunts to get up with me yelling at technology. Immediately it added 30 years to my fitness age.