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Farewell to the First Apple Watch

Apple unveiled the original Apple Watch on September 9, 2014 as a “one-more-thing” during their iPhone event.

Back then I was a serious post-doctoral scientist doing serious scientific things.

I recall knowing immediately that I wanted the device. I didn’t exactly know why I wanted it, or what purpose it would serve. As it turns out, neither did Apple. The Apple Watch was originally marketed as an app-centric device that played to fashion and communication. In the intervening years, it was clear that apps did not drive the Watch like they did on the iPhone. The screen was small and using apps with multiple levels of navigation was tedious. However, the device excelled at a few things: health, fitness, notifications, and communication. That is certainly how I primarily used the Watch.

The Apple Watch finally went on sale at the end of April in 2015 and I received mine soon thereafter. While it may look outdated now, I felt like I was wearing the future on my wrist.

It was around this time that my wife and I were planning a move from Oklahoma to Utah so that she could pursue a medical fellowship at the University of Utah. I did not handle the stress well and started to gain weight, which is something that I have struggled with since childhood. By the time we arrived in Utah that June, I had gained some 25-30 pounds. I felt bad, both physically and mentally, and was determined to stop the downward spiral before it overtook me. So, I enlisted the new Apple Watch to track my activity, which included P90X workouts and other exercises like walking, running, cycling, and more. The Apple Watch essentially gameified my fitness. It worked! I lost 21 pounds, gained muscle, and felt great.

While there were ups and downs in the years to follow, the Apple Watch remained a useful tool to manage my health and fitness. Although my friends know me as an Apple fanboy and a frequent upgrader, life and kids happened so I was content with the original Series 0 Watch. It served me well for 1,224 days, up until I recently bought the redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 (I’ll write about my initial thoughts in a separate post). Here are some statistics showing what the Apple Watch helped me track over more than three years.

It is a completely first-world thing to get nostalgic about a piece of disposable hardware, but here I am. I wore the Apple Watch every day for over three years and it helped me manage my worst impulses in self-care. It was one of the best pieces of technology that I have ever owned and I look forward to what the Series 4 has to offer. Until then – good bye, friend.

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