Category Archives: sport

Tools Tuesday: S2H Replay Watch

Adult and child obesity is a huge problem in America. The statistics are staggering and the future impact on healthcare costs is terrifying.

So what does the cure look like?

Years of nutritional education?

Mandatory Wii Fit summer camps?

Another complete overhaul of the food pyramid?

What if the answer is actually much simpler? What if it’s a colorful $20 rubber watch?

What S2H Replay Is

Imagine a Livestrong bracelet and a Polar heart rate monitor had a drunken tryst one night after the Ironman triathalon. The offspring would be the Switch To Health Replay Watch.

Switch To Health Relpay Watch

How It Works

After 60 minutes of physical activity (which doesn’t need to be consecutive), the S2H Replay watch displays a unique Reward Code. Users can go to S2H.com and enter their reward code to accumulate S2H Points, which can then be used to earn rewards such as movies, music and magazines.

Why It Will Work

Making It A Game
We’ve already seen the massive success Foursquare has had, turning going places into a game. S2H can do the same for working out.

Imagine the possibilities…

    Parents challenging children and children challenging parents
    Friends challenging friends (which we’ve already seen work with the Nike+ iPod model)
    Teachers challenging students

Community & Tribes
On S2H.com, users can post challenges, view leaderboards and join teams.

Imagine the long-term health benefits if an entire school district adopted S2H and designed specific exercise and reward programs around it?

Simplicity
No cables. No software. Anyone can upload the simple code at S2H.com in any browser.

What Can You Do?

Please spread the word and check them out at S2H.com and on twitter and Facebook.

If you’re a parent, buy a few and challenge each other. Make it a family thing.

If you’re an educator, figure out how to make S2H part of your curriculum or school.

If you’re a company, partner with S2H (they also make branded Kintetic Fit Bands) to help your employees or customers get fit.

Switch To Health is changing the game and really has the potential to increase fitness and decrease obesity in America.

Thanks for listening.

[Full Disclosure: I met the S2H founders and they sent me an S2H watch to demo. It’s my new favorite watch.]

Parkour

Parkour

From Kelly, a really cool post about Parkour, a really cool sport.

My favorite is Kelly’s quote to wrap the post:

Gives me chills. My entire girlhood, my entire life, might have been so different in so many ways if I’d had any of this when I needed self-confidence, when I needed to be living in and learning my body rather than being so wary of it. Oh, the possibilities.

And with some practice…walls become ladders and obstacles disappear….

The underlying metaphor of Parkour that obstacles aren’t always obstacles and anything is possible.

If you have a child, please teach them this. Parkour is one good way to do so.

The best TV show you’ve never seen

We are a culture without the will to seriously examine our own problems. We eschew that which is complex, contradictory or confusing. As a culture, we seek simple solutions. We enjoy being provoked and titillated, but resist the rigorous, painstaking examination of issues that might, in the end, bring us to the point of recognizing our problems, which is the essential first step to solving any of them.

David Simon – executive producer and head writer of The Wire

HBO’s The Wire is a gritty, street-level morality play about drug dealers, police detectives, school teachers, government officials and news media in inner-city Baltimore.  The executive producer and head writer is David Simon,  who wrote Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which spawned the popular TV show.

Michael Kenneth Williams brings Omar to life

Truth over trophies

The Wire isn’t for everyone but that is precisely what made it great.  Most shows are designed for the masses and that is what makes them mediocre at best.  The Wire garnered some critical acclaim but was too ‘urban’ for Hollywood’s seal of approval.  As a result, The Wire only had two Emmy nominations in its five year run.  To those who have seen the show, it reflects more on the Emmy selection process.

”It’s like them never giving a Nobel Prize to Tolstoy,” said Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group and a correspondent for Slate.com. ”It doesn’t make Tolstoy look bad, it makes the Nobel Prize look bad.”

Mark Harris from Entertainment Weekly feels the same.

I mean, seriously — cancel the telecast, go home, and hang your freaking heads in shame. The Emmy voters are like your great-grandmother; news travels slowly to them, and you have to say anything very loudly to make sure it gets through.

The Wire got a little more play at the Television Critics Association awards, a more honest vote from people who don’t care about the red carpet of Hollywood, where it garnered four nominations in 2008. The timing was unfortunate, because the Wire ran up against another phenomenal show, AMC’s Mad Men, and took home only the Heritage Award, which recognizes a long-standing program that has had a lasting cultural or social impact. Ironically, Season 5 was The Wire’s final season.

The Wire

The top six reasons The Wire is the best television series ever
I won’t spoil any of the plot because I want all of you to get every drop of enjoyment I did out of the show so I’ll simply put forth the top six reasons why The Wire was the greatest television series ever.

1) The Writing
Gritty. Intense. Unapologetic. Complex. Best writing for a TV series ever.

2) The Characters
There are no big stars in this show. If you recognize any of the actors, it is likely from something they did as a result of their work on The Wire.

Other drama shows such as 24 and The West Wing focus on about ten main characters. The Wire has three times that many and at least as many bit players. Each is deeply complex and flawed but you find yourself rooting for them for different reasons.

3) The Pace
More happens in one episode of The Wire than in a season of some shows. The show moves so fast, it requires your undivided attention.

4) The Unpredictability
Have a favorite character? Don’t get too attached because they may disappear for a season or they may get killed. The show must go on. Getting settled into the plotline for the first season? Don’t get too comfortable. Each season analyzes a completely new side of Baltimore, but Simon weaves it all together like the master storyteller he is.

5) The Dialogue
Street language. Nicknames. Police slang. The language is so real that I watch the show with English subtitles on.

6) Omar
Everyone’s favorite bad guy, Omar, played brilliantly by Michael Kenneth Williams, is reason enough to watch the show. Despite being the baddest of the bad guys, a scar crossing his face, Omar is a gangster with a heart. Omar walks around shirtless under his duster, his shotgun always ready at his side. Feared by everyone, Omar doesn’t deal drugs himself, he simply lays in wait and ruthlessly robs the top drug dealers whenever he pleases.

One other thing….Omar is openly homosexual. Such is the brilliance of The Wire.

David Simon, the rest of the writers and the cast and crew of The Wire created a masterpiece, a visual novel, a show for the ages. Do yourself a favor and watch it from the very first episode; you only get 60. Get pulled in. Find yourself rooting for murderers, drunk womanizers and corrupt politicians.

But don’t forget to turn the subtitles on.

The best informercial product ever

I’m starting the P90X workout program today.  With all due respect to Chuck Norris, Ron Popeil and the ShamWow guy, P90X is the best product you can buy off of an infomercial.

It’s 2am and you’re flipping the channels between two infomercials.  One promises magic weight loss through an expensive, non-prescription pill.  The other offers a set of exercise DVDs and promises not just weight loss, but to help you completely transform your body.

The first one is snake oil, sold by scam artists and fake doctors.

The second one works,partly because it is real but in large part because it is a Tribe.

There is no magic pill that in any way helps you lose weight.  If such a pill existed, everyone would be slim, obesity would be a footnote in history books and the inventors would lend money to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.  I still can’t believe people fall for such obvious scams but they clearly do.  The infomercials keep running.

The other option I’m referring to is a detailed and prescriptive exercise program called P90X.  The program consists of 13 DVDs, an exercise guide and a nutrition guide.  Each DVD is led by an inspirational, extremely fit 50 year old named Tony Horton.

P90x

The program works because it contains the three critical elements of any successful fitness program:

  1. Strength training
  2. Cardio and
  3. Nutrition

P90X isn’t easy and never claims to be.  Each workout is about an hour and you can expect to be sweating profusely during each one (even on yoga day).

But many similar fitness programs contain those three elements.  So why is P90X so successful?  Because people stick with the program long enough to realize their transformation.

Why do people stick with the program?  Because it is a Tribe.  It has an inspirational leader in Tony Horton.  Members use the P90X terminology.  Members connect and support each other, posting their before and after pictures on P90X message boards.  People who finish the program can’t wait to tell others about it and recruit.  Many first-timers then become ‘coaches’ for new members.  Many people post their transformational stories on YouTube.

If there was no Tribe, P90X would still work but the idea wouldn’t have spread.  People wouldn’t tell their friends and family or coach each other on the message boards.  As a result, Beachbody, the parent company, wouldn’t have sold nearly as many units.

Does your product or service have a Tribe?

P90X-Posters