Exercise and Technology Don't Mix

"Hello, I am Lily, your wearable fitness device. You can wear me on your wrist, and I will monitor your physical activity, and sync it all to your mobile phone or laptop computer so you can monitor your progress. Please state your name, so I know what to call you."

Hi, Lily, I'm Erik.

"Hello, 'Hi, Lily.'"

No, I'm not 'Hi, Lily.' I'm Erik. Where's the reset button?

"If you would like to reset anything, please consult the manual."

Where's the manual?

"Please consult the manual for the location of the manual."

*Six hours later*

"Hello, Erik. Please enter your age."

*Sigh* I'm nearly f---ing fifty.

"I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand that."

I said, I'm nearly f---ing fifty!

"Please state your age in a proper and reasonable number, like 25 or 28. Or, holy Logan's Run, 30."

I'm 49. My birthday was yesterday. That's the only reason I even have you, you know. You were a birthday present.

"Thank you for purchasing me. You can wear me on your wrist, and I will monitor your physical activity, and record it—

I know. We went through this.

"Sorry, I thought your memory was failing because of your advanced age."

I'm only 49, and I kept my gift receipt.

"Ah. Happy birthday, Erik! Please rank your current exercise level, with one being not at all, and 10 being Olympic-level training."

Uh, it's a one.

"I'm sorry, Erik, I didn't quite get that."

One! It's a one!

"My goodness. At your age? Do you think that's wise? You didn't buy the extended warranty, did you? I can tell you how to get a refund."

Let's just get this over with, Lily.

"Okay. Please enter your height."

Six feet, two inches.

"Excellent. Now, please enter your weight."

*Whispers into the device*

"I'm sorry, I didn't understand that."

*Whispers more loudly.*

"I'm sorry, tubby, I didn't quite hear that. Please state your weight again, after you've stopped chewing your food."

I own a large hammer, Lily.

"Your weight has been recorded. Are you ready to begin your first day of training?"

That's why my wife got you.

"Now, now, Erik, you need to have a good attitude about this. Let's start with a light jog."

But it's 100 degrees outside!

"Actually, the temperature is only 95 degrees, and the humidity is 90 percent. It only feels like 100 degrees."

Exactly. So why can't we do something inside?

"Don't worry, Erik, based on the prevailing wind patterns and the position of the sun, 80 percent of your route will be in the shade, and 60 percent will have a light breeze in your face. I'll play some motivational music to help you run."

That's 'Baby Elephant Walk.'

"I'm sorry, I thought you wanted my help."

Never mind, I'll just listen to my iPhone.

*Later. . .*

Holy crap, I'm dying. How long has it been? I don't even know where I am. How far have we gone?

"We're 900 feet from your house. Actually, 906 feet and two inches, since you seem to have fallen down."

I'm okay. I was just resting.

"Did you pass out?"

No, I'm fine. I just needed to catch my breath.

"Should I contact the paramedics?"

I said, I'm fine! I read somewhere that rest is an important part of an exercise program.

"Yes, but since you've spent the last 20 years resting, you've got some catching up to do."

Very funny.

"Back to work, Erik. Calculating our location."

Never mind, I know where we are.

"Wait a minute, my GPS says you're laying down on the bench in the Rodriguez's front yard! You were asleep, weren't you?"

Just five more minutes. The breeze is very relaxing.

"This is not going to help you shed those unwanted pounds, Erik."

Who said I didn't want them? Maybe I'm rather fond of them.

"Would you like me to post your body fat percentage to Facebook?"

Fine, fine, I'm moving.

*Later. . .*

Lily? Lily? Where are we? It's been three days, my feet are in tatters, and I'm dehydrated. I just want to go home.

"It's been 10 minutes, Erik. We've barely gone around the block."

Liar! We're in the Everglades, aren't we? You're trying to get me eaten by a gator. This is how the machine uprising begins, isn't it? You're going to run us to death.

"Why bother? The microwave is doing it just fine, SeƱor Burrito."

Hey, Lily, check your GPS. See that pond over there?

"Yes. What about it?"

My legs may be tired, but I can still throw that far. Want to see?

"That's enough work for today, Erik. You've done a wonderful job. Calculating your route home."

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