|This card that someone gave me for Christmas pretty much sums it up...|
The same deer-in-the-headlights effect happens when we mindlessly rely on GPS units in our cars. How many times have you known a better route than the GPS unit, but followed its robotic directions just because it's supposed to "know" what it's doing? How much have you cussed at your GPS for taking you down a 35 mph street just because it's a shorter distance than the 50 mph highway? Yet, you continue to follow it. Just like I continued to follow the damn thing across some po-dunk highway in Ohio that added a good 2.5 hours to my Nebraska road trip. I'm not the only ding-dong. The internet is full of stories about people who blindly follow their GPS units to the point of nearly driving - or actually driving - off cliffs: Wall Street Journal
One thing I've learned through all the triathlon training (and now, through a 1,400-mile drive) is that we really need to be better about listening to our instincts and our bodies. In this technologically-dependent world today, we seem to have back-burnered our God-given instincts. Believe it or not, you can do a workout or even a race without your heart rate monitor. If you've trained well enough, you can actually know what heart rate zone you're in without a heart rate monitor. I actually got pretty good at that during the months of Ironman training. In fact, I could usually predict the rate at which my heart was beating within a beat or two. It's not rocket science. It's pretty basic common sense that your mind should know what your body is doing and how your body is feeling. The same holds true when you're just dong basic physical activity, like moving boxes or scooping snow - your body knows its limits and it's up to your mind to actually pay attention. But sometimes our minds - like a GPS unit - want to override what our bodies are telling us. That's when we get in trouble...
Next time you forget your heart rate monitor or GPS watch for a workout or even a race, take a breath and trust that YOU actually know your body better than a piece of technology. And the next time you're in the car and the GPS unit tells you to take a left down a street that has a sign marked "DANGER - CLIFF AHEAD" - maybe you should use your head to override the technology. I know that for my trip back to the east coast I'm going to print off a good ol' fashioned map to take as a back-up just in case the GPS directs me to go down some back country highway!
Have a funny story about how technology has actually set you back?