Nike+ FuelBand The Movement “FuelNomad #2”


Being a Nomad means moving fluidly from place to place, motivated by curiosity. I’ve always been in motion, looking to see more, do more, and feel more. That doesn’t mean I’m learning more though. Documenting my travels through photographs has always been my map, but what about my actual movements? Being free gives me experience, but I want to know what happens when I challenge myself with more than curiosity.

My starting point is to know how much NikeFuel I’m earning just by being myself. By knowing that baseline I can use the Nike+ FuelBand to push me to do more and do it better. Nomads shun structure, but they don’t lack motivation. Strapping on the Nike+ FuelBand is a simple way to learn more about the journey I’m already on.

This is the same experience anyone has moving around the grid known as Manhattan, they just aren’t aware of it. Even the most free spirited move within the city’s structure and are burning calories, walking miles a day. By simply understanding the benefits of walking a few extra blocks, taking the steps instead of the escalator, or any form of moving more, anyone could improve. That’s my goal as I strap on my Nike+ FuelBand for another day amid the New York hustle. Earn more. Learn more. With the right mindset, every morning run can shed a new light.

It’s 6 AM and the sun has yet to rise. I weave through quiet Brooklyn streets towards the Williamsburg Bridge. Manhattan is less than 2 miles away, but it seems like another world. For most, the bridges are just a connector–a means to get from here to there. I see them as illustrated road maps, each inch covered with tags and street art, scratches and paint smears, layers and layers over weathered steel and bolts bigger than arms to take the stress of time. Everyday I read a different story.

There’s this guy that sprints the bridge each morning, a veteran runner. No matter how fit, his calfs have to burn from the incline. I said more than hello to him today and asked how long he’s been running the bridge, “Long before it was the most trafficked bike path in America!” he shot back. “It wasn’t safe to be on at all years ago, so you could say my speed was motivated by fear. My only time to run was early in the mornings before work, the faster I went, the safer I felt.”

I wanted to ask why he didn’t run a different, less dangerous path, but I already knew why. The Williamsburg Bridge was the perfect distance and resistance for a run and it offered something different than the streets or a track. It’s just you, cars, other movers, and the bridge. No technology, time stamps, or commercialism. You’re alone to challenge yourself.

The calm of the bridge is replaced with city sounds as you enter the Lower East Side. Air thicker, different scents on every block. Streets flow like arteries with people and cars criss-crossing. Glance at my FuelBand to see I’m at 3867, feeling good, feeling awake. Up Delancey, past the Bowery, a web of streets packed with commuters lost in their phones. Texting, talking, gazing, walking. We’ve all got somewhere to go, but how you get there is what matters to me.

Everywhere there are lines of people standing, waiting, down the block and around the corner. Every block a different line, waiting for a donut, a coffee, tickets to a show, or just to buy a Metrocard. I just zing by, collecting memories to later explore. My FuelBand glows GOAL as I breach 4500 NikeFuel. I’ve hit my mark and still have the journey back.

After a quick break to hydrate and a few stretches to keep from stiffening up, I was back at the the bridge facing Brooklyn. “How was the run?” asked the sprinter as he jogged in place. I told him that I hit my goal for the day and he grinned, “Years ago my goal was to sprint across this bridge” he said. “I wasn’t much of a runner, but I wanted to be able to say ‘This is how fast I can run the Williamsburg,’ every time I approached it–I wanted to measure it by my run.”

He went on to explain that it took him a while to sprint the full distance and it was hard to not slow his pace on brisk fall mornings when the wind stung. He finally established a steady time, but that wasn’t his goal–it was his starting point.

How could I earn more than 4500 NikeFuel on my morning run? Would I have to sprint faster than my friend, or just take a longer route there? If I could even go one length as effortlessly as the sprinter, I’d be on my way to a my goal–one that I could only reach by pushing myself and seeing more. 4500 was my ceiling crossing over into Manhattan, on the way back it was just the ground I’d navigate to see just how far I could push myself.

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