Avoid The Ecosystem Black Hole

If you haven’t noticed, I’m big into tracking things (it is my first Principle, after all).  I’m also a fan of doing so via various websites and social media.  I’m big into Nike+ (the FuelBand and GPS SportWatch are mainstays of my fitness gadgetry), and love how they track, share and ‘gamify’ the art of fitness stat tracking.  I also got into dailymile to connect with some friends, and ditto MapMyRun (or MapMyFitness, more accurately, since I use it for both running and biking).  I recently added Garmin Connect to the mix to handle my Garmin Edge 510 data from biking.  I think I’m also on RunKeeper, but don’t remember (how could I at this point, right?).
When I run, I sync my phone’s Nike+ app or my watch’s data with my computer to Nike+.  Then I go to dailymile and sync my Nike+ activity into my dailymile account.  MapMyFitness automatically pulls in Nike+ data, so I don’t have to do anything there.

If I bike, I have to give up on Nike+ giving me any credit (lest I pervert my stats with insanely fast average paces vs when I run).  MapMyFitness and dailymile both take cycling results and can connect to my Garmin Edge to pull in the computer data and maps.  I also sync into the Garmin site (I wish dailymile and MMF would just pull it through automatically, or at least not make me re-connect the device and import the activity).  It’s all a bit much, and I’m left feeling uneasy that Nike+ thinks I’ve been slacking.

Add to that uneasy feeling the fact that my FuelBand has broken yet again (this will be my seventh!), so I’ve been at zero for NikeFuel for a few days, and broke my streak.  Can you imagine how horrible a problem this is?

Seriously, I actually got worked up about this a few FuelBands ago.  Then I thought I was ridiculous.

And that’s the point of this post. It’s great to track things, and to get into the gamification and the badges and achievements of all of these ecosystems and social media.  But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your activity.  Or, worse yet, avoiding some activity because the ecosystem you are most in bed with doesn’t track it.  I’m really enjoying biking, and it would be such a shame to swear it off because Nike+ can’t handle it (I really don’t know why – they need to get on board here).  When I climbed the three tallest peaks in New England over three days, the thought crossed my mind about my lack of activity within the various ecosystems I’m part of, and I thought about using my SportWatch and a foot pod to at least get credit for the time and distance of the hikes.  But then I decided against it out of fear of the detrimental effect a combined 20-25 hours of slow pacing would have on my lifetime average pace.

Absurd.

So, do track things, do get into these sites and do go public.  Just keep your mind right and be sure you lose neither your perspective on reality nor your general sensibility.  If you do, the exercise will quickly become work or at least a source of anxiety, and that’s completely the opposite of what it should be if you want to make it part of your life going forward.

Have some fun while you have fun. That’s a great way to enlighten.your.body.

About bryan falchuk

bryan falchuk is the founder of newbodi.es, a certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist and the best-selling author of "Do a Day". bryan coaches people on their whole health - the physical, mental and emotional combination of wellness that we need to thrive and change our lives.

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