Devoted followers of the Church of Garmin (praise be thy name) know that it is an invaluable tool for runners. Garmin can track your time, pace, distance, and elevation. It can record splits of any length or beep at you if you're going too fast or too slow. It can pit you against a virtual opponent in a race, graph your running history over time, and help you find your way home if you're lost.
I have also heard that it can tell time, but that feature's a little harder to find than the rest.
Recently, I uncovered another of Garmin's many widgets, one I was not aware of before. Garmin is also an effective babysitter.
I came home from a run, and Jack's desire to be entertained didn't mesh well with my desire to sit on a chair and drink Gatorade. Then, I had a holy Garmin vision (praise be thy name), divine inspiration if you will.
I put Paula Garmin on Jack's wrist and told him to run around the backyard so I could see how fast he was going. Jack thought this was the coolest idea ever. I gave him my iPod (tuned to the Captain Cubtastic mix) and added a headband to hold in the earphones. The result looked like this:
Garmin then proceeded to entertain Jack until dinner time. He raced around the back yard, creating obstacles for himself, and singing along to his music (particular favorite: "We Will Rock You"). My job was to occasionally throw out some encouragement: "You're doing great!" or "Don't stop running" bought me plenty more valuable chair sitting time.
His average pace was 15:something, probably slowed by the zillions of times he fell, the one time his shorts fell down, and the times he spent hiding behind a tree.
Now we just need Garmin to come out with My First Forerunner, because as this picture of Jack after the Bix illustrates, my boy loves to run.