Dear Garmin –
Hey girl, how are you doing? It’s been a while since I have told you I love you. I love you.
Why? Come on now, don’t play games.
When I needed you the most, you were there for me. You took a hit for the team. You literally put yourself in harm’s way to save my behind.
We haven’t always got along. Your firmware plays games, and your GPS linkup can be…wait, I’m identifying satellites. 🙂
I never gave up on you though. Sure, the new hotness models have come along, but Forerunner 310 has stuck with me through all the bad races. You’re honest with me, and tell me only what I need to know. You were so open minded to handling a menage a tri, unlike some of the other watches of your age who were too set in their ways to understand multisport events.
More than anything, I am blown away at how strong you are. I smashed you. Destroyed you. We hit the ground at over 20 mph. Even with your busted grill, you are still working. Amazing.
Your buttons and faceplate may be ground down, and you have an almost unreadable glass, but you are still my lady. Your LCDs are still deliciously lit up. I don’t know if you are hanging on just to impress me, and plan to shortly disappear to the great triathlon in the sky with all the other destroyed fitness computers. Either way, I wanted you to know how much I love you and how much I owe you for most certainly saving me from so much more harm than what actually happened.
Here’s a link to the strava file where I went down. You can see the speed and abruptly stop around mile 29. The bike I was on is a complete writeoff. Twisted rear triangle, destroyed derailer. We didn’t discover that fact until I was a few miles into my ride home and the whole derailer ripped off as I was shifting for a climb. Fun.
We were running a training camp in Coeur d’Alene ahead of the Ironman 70.3 race this past Sunday. I was riding at the back of our group of athletes. There was some debris on highway 95. By debris, I mean large rocks the size of two fists.
I have never crashed on a road bike before. I’ve been riding proper road bikes since 2001. Been hit by a car once, but this was the first bona fide crash.
Going over the handle bars, I was surprised by how clearly my mind snapped back to my 4 years of Ju Jitsu in high school. I began putting my left arm forward to roll through the crash. My hand caught on the bars, and all I could think was “other arm!!” even though I was flying on the wrong vector to roll on my right shoulder. I didn’t quite make it, but did manage to get my right arm in front of me with watch side down.
It was at this point I heard the very loud grinding sound. I felt it all the way through my body. I thought my head was sliding on the ground. And then I was upside down, then rolling, and then stopped in the ditch on the side of the road. We estimate that I slid for well over 50 feet with my weight fully supported by nothing but the Garmin Forerunner 310 XT before I flipped over and stated rolling.
My right shoulder, elbow and hip were a scraped up bloody mess, but I was fine. Hurt. Embarrassed. But fine. My watch, on the other hand, was not. You can see that in the photo here.
For those who would like to see the damage to my body, and don’t mind a slightly NSFW picture, we took a photo a couple days later. Good times.
If anyone who reads this knows anyone at Garmin, please make sure this love letter finds its way to them.
Also published on Medium.