Fitness Cyborg (Nike FuelBand Review)

All I asked for on my birthday was for cybernetic parts. My loving wife agrees with my desire to become more like a robot and says it would be “quite the improvement” so she encourages the activity.  She bought me a Nike FuelBand ahead of my birthday so I could try it out in a half marathon.

The Nike FuelBand is pretty much what I expected; it’s a great motivation to get up and move around. However, with great expectations comes great responsibility. Here’s how it works.

After carefully unboxing your FuelBand (and posting the video online) you hook it up to a computer. Here, the FuelBand collects all of your personal information; weight, height, passwords, address, a list of your fears, and bank account numbers. Once it’s done mining your data you strap it on your wrist. Once it is locked in place you can never take it off.

The Nike FuelBand is really fun!  It captures and collects your every mechanical movement and turns it into “Fuel”. You earn Fuel by walking, running, jogging in place, or spasticly waving to people from your car. The Fuel is stored in your FuelBand and increases during the day as you move around. As you get closer to your goal, a progress bar fills up and begins to turn green. Your Fuel totals are uploaded to the Internet where it is scrutinized and judged by data miners.

But then it gets weird.

Every night at midnight, the Goddess Nike travels around the world to drain and collect Fuel from all of her active conscripted soldiers. During “The Reaping” if you have reached your daily point quota the Goddess will bless you, granting you sweet dreams and smiles upon you and your loved ones. However, if you failed to collect enough Fuel, she will punish by taking your soul and possessing your body. You don’t want that. Either way she will take all of your Fuel at midnight and you get to start over collecting Fuel for her the next day.

The Goddess Nike is the Greek goddess of victory, often depicted in ancient drawings with wings and sweet running shoes. She uses your FuelBand Fuel to wage her wars on Earth and set victories to those individuals and nations who actively offer up the most Fuel.  She’s also been instrumental in rigging elections, causing end-of-game touchdowns, and granting argument winning power against significant others.

Since I’ve been using Nike Running (which also earns Fuel) for the past 4 years, I was grandfathered in to the Nike Goddess’ Fuel program.  In fact, I’ve earned enough Fuel to fully fund an a Nuclear Submarine and two M1 Abrams tanks. The Fuel I’ve earned has also saved me the embarrassment of not finishing last in my age group in a 10k. Thanks Goddess Nike!

You’ll learn to love your new life under the Goddess’ rule. However, you’ll be asked to give up many of the ways of your former life. No longer can you sit idly around when there are Fuel points to collect. Constant activity is your new life. It may sound like a stressful life sentence, but with the right attitude, your FuelBand and Nike can help you lead a long and rewarding life.

Here are some tips to avoid having your soul ripped from your corporeal body.

  • The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so throw away your Garmin, because that’s the route you’re going to take. Throw away your car while you’re at it because driving it could mean the loss of your soul. You’ll find your route to work is much more of an adventure when you’re climbing over buildings and navigating the dividing wall of the highway. Your trip to get the milk may take two hours as you jump over fences, get chased by a dog, and swim across a pond (disclaimer: Nike FuelBand is not recommenced for swimming). Be sure to carry the milk in your non-FuelBand hand to assure you swing out all of the necessary Fuel. Everyone will think you’ve taken up the spastic sport of Free Running, but rest assured that you‘re enslaved to serve a higher power.
  • Avoid meetings.  If you must attend a meeting, you’ll need to find ways to stay active during a meeting. Participation is key. Stand up and make wide, sweeping gestures to make your point. If you can, prepare a power point presentation. Be sure your presentation includes plenty of exciting screens that will warrant your constant air punching and cart wheels.
  • The Goddess Nike hates reading. Say goodbye to curling up with a good book and and a blanket. If you must read, audio books are an option but only if your listening sessions are also accompanied by constant jumping jacks.
  • Avoid air travel. If you’re your pressed with a deadline and unable to reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time, air travel may be permitted. While the seatbelt light is on you can stay active by doing fist pumps from your seat. When the seatbelt light is finally turned off you’ll want to go up to the front of the plane, grab to mic, and rock the passengers with a song and air guitar.
  • Cooking will help keep you active, but take advice from Emeril who is a Grand Master Nike Fuel member and sits on the high council at the Parthenon. Only cook exciting foods and keep adding seasoning with your own trademarked catchphrase.
  • Unless you can destroy your inner couch potato, the Nike Goddess will take your soul. So if you’re going to catch a TV show, get up and stand on the couch. Jump on the couch. The floor is made of lava all the time. You can jump from couch to couch but I would recommend installing monkey bars and swinging ropes in order to maximize your movement throughout the house. Your house is now a ninja gym.

The Nike FuelBand is also a watch.


Tips for Running a Half Marathon

For some, Spring means hanging out at the lake or watching baseball.  For others, Spring is Half Marathon Season!

After you’ve done a few long distance races, you think you’ve got it all figured out and can start educating and encouraging new runners.  Everyone’s always asking me, “Tell me everything you know about distance running in blog post form!”  So I just had to write it down.  These tips will save you time, money, and make your race a much more enjoyable adventure.

Tips for Running a Half Marathon

Buy a Quality Track Suit:
Having the right shoes and clothes can make or break your run.  Spend at least $1400 on shorts, underwear, socks, and a shirt.  Approximately every $100 you spend on running clothes equals ten minutes off of your time!  Look inside of the clothes for special Perks or Powerups.  Nike makes a sports bra with a button you can press to give you a quick speed boost.

Also, be sure to put those things under your kneecaps so your leg does not break apart.  I can’t tell you how many kneecaps I’ve seen skittering across the road after someone’s knees explode.

The night before the race, hunt down anything made from grains or sugar.  The best method for storing up this energy is through consuming as much beer as possible.  Think of each longneck as a cylinder in your car engine.  Tomorrow you’re legs will be pounding pavement away like a sewing machine. As the night goes on and it gets closer to race time you’ll know you’re belly’s ready.  That’s a feeling we runners call “the churning”.

Track Your Run:
Just as it’s important to check into a grocery store on Facebook Places or foursquare, you’ll want to be sure to track every single step you take running for the rest of your life.  When your half marathon begins, you’ll probably be back a little ways from the start gate.  DO NOT start your Nike+ or GPS until you reach the gate.

To ensure accuracy, STOP right before you get to the start gate and look at your tracker to make sure it is ready.  If you need a second, be polite and hold up a finger for those behind you.  They’ll know you need a second and politely wait until you have everything set up.  This is also a great time to set up your iPod playlists.

Touch as many People as Possible:
Comradery between long distance runners is as strong as soldiers who has endured the crucible of combat together.  Gently touch as many people as possible on the shoulder as you pass them.  For added points, lean in and whisper something in their ear.  “Keep going buddy!” “I hope you’re getting enough water!” or softly hiss “Meet you after the race for applesss.” These are good phrases to keep in mind but make some up on your own.  Keep track of how many people you’ve touched and let everyone know how many you touched. This is something everyone talks about!

Walk/Run With All of Your Friends:
Make it a girls weekend and walk with 3 of your friends. Have t-shirts made for each Sex and the City character. Walk 4 abreast down the track. This is a great time to talk about boys or exchange your favorite recipes. (Guys can talk about video games and war)  Just remember to consider all of your friends because one of the girls on the end is going to miss out on a lot of the conversation because she’s stuck next to the loud one and when she goes to spread the gossip to her other friends she’s going to screw it all up:

“So I guess Dorothy went to the costume party with Mark and she went as Dorothy and he went as some kind of x-men mutant and when they started doing it in the punch bowl his eyes started shooting lasers like the Cyclops but luckily Dorothy’s real ruby slippers were already off and on the table because it was getting hot so he just put the shoes over his eyes to stop the lasers so he didn’t kill anybody else but they had to leave and she got a DUI because Mark couldn’t see without shooting lasers out of his eyes. At least that’s what I heard when when we ran this half marathon thing last week.”

Be Cautious When Getting Water:
There will be numerous water stations scattered throughout your race.  You’ll want to stay plenty hydrated.  Don’t worry about pee because most of it comes out of your skin.

The proper way to grab a water is to scream and quickly dart across the track towards the water.  Sudden movements indicate thirst. Go for the first water person.  ONLY get water from the first person! As soon as you get your cup, STOP!  DO NOT spill any water on your expensive track suit!  Spread your legs, shoulder length apart, and lean forward and slowly drink your water or Gatorade.  This is a good time to check your kneecap holders to make sure they aren’t about to fly off. Give big smile and a thumbs-up to those around you if your kneecaps are OK!

If Of course you have your phone with you, so be sure to check in on Facebook Places at each water station.

When you’re done with the cup, throw it as far away as possible so a woodland creature or fish can make a house out of it.  Running is very rewarding in itself, but being able to help animals is great too.