Here’s a question.
What is it about snazzy new exercise gear that gives us that extra, often much-needed, oomph? That divine push out the door, when we’re sitting on our bed, one sneaker on, half-committed to the task ahead?
It’s true, right? If I had a dollar for every time a pair of new leggings had willed me to an early morning F45 class; or a pair of new runners had lured me onto the pavement, for at least a couple of kilometres.
So this being said, any day a new piece of activewear or the latest yoga mat arrives on my desk (or, often, lands in my online shopping basket) is, quite frankly, a win for my waistline. With the chance of me breaking a sweat, increasing some ten-fold.
So you can imagine my joy, nay glee, when I was asked to try the Jaybird’s Tarah Pro – a pair of wireless headphones being hailed as the holy grail of headphones for runners.
Am I runner? Well, no.
I mean, not in the general sense of the word. I like to run, albeit seasonally. I have been known to suffer the odd 10km race. And, the thought of completing some sort of marathon one day has always been buried somewhere deep in my subconscious, along with learning Italian and releasing a number one hit single.
But, like most wannabe-runners, the lust to hit the pavement with any real gumption – or commitment – has remained largely dormant.
I was in New York earlier this month, though, while the marathon was on, and couldn’t help but contemplate, just for a moment, signing up to run it next year. But, between you and I, my motivation for such an extravagant commitment was one-dimensional. And that was to go back to the city I had fallen so desperately in love with, to eat more bagels.
So, bearing this in mind, I am reluctant to declare myself a ‘runner’, in any capacity – other than someone who enjoys a light jog to the bagel shop and back. And after my New York jaunt, it was going to take a pretty special pair of headphones to lure me back onto the road, after returning from my two-week, bagel-fuelled hiatus.
But, even the sporadic runner that I am, I still understand the sheer importance of reliable headphones – surely up there with sturdy running shoes and non-transparent leggings. Some days, the sweet sound of Justin Bieber’s voice is the only thing that stops me from keeling over a few minutes in. But wireless?
I must admit, I was sceptical.
I’ve never been overly fond of the idea of wireless headphones. Much like sleeveless hoodies and toe-socks, I’ve always found them rather pointless. A superfluous luxury. And in my experience, most people fall into one of two camps. There’s the group who embraces them with pride – often privileged, white, suited males, donning them whilst boldly striding through the CBD. And then there’s those who refuse to wear them – or, like me, haven’t tried – and mostly spend their time mocking the former. So, as a (now-former) resident of the latter camp, I was reluctant to embrace this particular product with too much vigour right off the bat, particularly given these were made for the ‘runners’ and ‘endurance athletes’ of the world, of which, for the above reasons, I think we can all agree, I am not one.
Next minute, I’m a convert.
It turns out the feeling of running free, without having to navigate the inevitable entanglement of headphones, is a luxury not to be scoffed at. Nor is a a pair of earbuds that are waterproof and sweat-proof. Many a downpour has left me constantly trying to wedge tiny earbuds into my slippery ears – to no avail. And you only need to jog on a treadmill for 20 minutes in a hotel gym without air-con to know the value of ‘sweat-proof’. Again, perks not to be scoffed at.
I also knew there had been a lot of noise, humour me the pun, about the 14-hour battery life – about two to three times greater than the listening time of other products on the market, and a ‘game changer’ for ultra marathoners and endurance athletes. Sure, colour me impressed, but I didn’t see how this would benefit me – a fun run, 30-minute-on-a-good-day type of runner. Until I realised that just five minutes of charge gives you two hours of play time. Which, in my world, is a bit of a ‘game changer’, as well. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve put off – often indefinitely – a run because my phone or headphones weren’t charged. Because frankly, without Bieber, willpower is futile.
So along with my wires, they have now taken with them my excuses.
And look at it this way.
Even if you’re not about to run ultra marathons any time soon, at the very least, they will get you out the door a bunch of times, buoyed by the thrill of a shiny new exercise product.
As for me? I think I’m going to give that marathon a try.
Jessica was invited by Jaybird to attend the global launch of Tarah Pro in New York.
Read more stories like this: Why I want to run the New York Marathon next year, and How to learn to love running.