Identification. It's the one thing that no athlete should be without when they leave the house, and the one thing that is most likely to be forgotten.
When I started running again, about a year and half ago, I never thought about bringing ID with me. I'd bring a whole slew of gear---my Garmin, my water belt, GU---but it never occurred to me to bring ID. What could happen? I mean, I was only running, right? Not too dangerous.
A year ago I started triathlon training, and therefore started biking. For this I did bring my ID, or at least I tried to. Biking was scary for me, and I was in fear that I would get hit by a car. I would slip my driver's license in the back pocket of my biking shirt; that is, if I remembered.
But here's where my thinking was faulty. First, even on a short run around the neighborhood, things can go terribly wrong. Cars are a big hazard. Sure, I run on sidewalks, but eventually I have to cross intersections. I have had close calls with cars who are not paying attention while they are turning, even when it's my right-of-way. Heck, even Reese Witherspoon got hit by a car a few weeks ago while running. And I never know what else could possibly happen: what if I trip and fall and hurt my head? What if I get attacked by a dog? Most of these scenarios are far-fetched and unlikely, but not impossible. Second, what is the good of putting my driver's license in my pocket? If something happened to me, all responders would know would be my name, date of birth and address. In an emergency, that would not be much help at all.
Last year, then, I bought myself an ID bracelet. On it had all the pertinent information that a responder would need: my name, home number, my husband's cell number, my alleriges, etc. I always felt safe wearing it, knowing that if something happened to me, my emergency information was readily available. The thing is, sometimes I would forget to put it on. It did me no good sitting on my counter.
Enter 1BandID. This is a brand-new, American company whose goal it is to make ID for athletes easier. Joe, the owner and creator of 1BandID, wanted to create an ID to fit on something that most runners, cyclists and triathletes never leave the house without: their watch, GPS or heart-rate monitor. I loved this idea the first time I heard it. After all, there are times I forget my GU, there are times I should have brought my sunglasses and didn't, but I never, and I mean NEVER, forget my Garmin. I am one of these obsessive triathletes who always likes to know, within a hundredth of a mile, just how far I went and how fast (or slow) my pace was. This ingenious ID band attaches to the strap of my Garmin, so I only have one thing (hence the "1 Band") to put on.
I have worn mine for over a week now on my Garmin Forerunner 305 and don't even realize it's there. It's very comfortable. The one "issue" I had when I first wore it was that I had put it on the side of the Garmin where the little holes are, and because my wrists are small I wasn't able to buckle it on the hole I usually do; therefore, on my run, the Garmin slipped down toward my hand. Joe's instructions tell users with smaller wrists to put it on the buckle side. I did so the next time I wore it, and have had no slippage at all ever since, as now I am able to buckle the Garmin on the correct hole. This is designed to fit over any GPS, watch, or heart rate monitor. Indeed, Joe also sent one to my husband to try on his heart-rate monitor, a Polar RSX300. He had the same, easy experience I had: just slip it on and go. You never have to worry about it again. The velcro is very secure; I have no worries of it coming off.
Besides the ease of always having ID on me, I love the fact that having only one band (my Garmin) means only ONE TAN LINE! As a triathlete living in San Diego, I have a gazillion tan lines all over my body (running clothes, biking clothes, swimsuit, sunglasses, etc). This means one less tan line on my wrist.
In addition to wearing it on runs and bike rides this past week, I also wore it in last week's triathlon, my first Olympic-distance tri. I have never before worn my old ID band in a race, thinking that if something happened to me they could see my name on my bib. Again, now that I think about it, what faulty thinking! If something happened to me in a race (and indeed, if you read my recap of the tri, I came across a biker being treated at an ambulance; his entire head and face was covered in white bandages) the responders would have to look at my bib and radio to the race director, who would then (I assume) have to look up my information. With the 1BandID, one glance at my wrist would tell them my name, date-of-birth, and the phone numbers of my husband and best friend.
By the way, I don't swim with my Garmin 305, so I have not tested the 1BandID in the water. But Joe tells me that the product is waterproof. The band is made of neoprene (like a wetsuit); the colored piece is PVC (completely waterproof) and the metal tag is stainless steel with permanently laser-engraved information. So if you're a swimmer or triathlete who wears an electronic device in the water, rest assured that this product will hold up during your swims!
While this band is clearly made for athletes who wear a watch, GPS or heart-rate monitor (if you run without any electronics, this is not the product for you), the company is soon coming out with a band that could slip onto a bike computer. Another great idea!
One other thing I wanted to point out is how environmentally conscious Joe is. The packaging the band came was tiny---just a little plastic envelope within a larger envelope. No boxes, no big packaging, no fluff. And instead of printing out instructions or brochures, he emailed me the instructions in a pdf. No fuss, no muss...and most importantly, no waste.
When you order, you can choose your color band (black, blue, green, red, orange, yellow or pink; I chose pink). You get up to 6 lines of 25 characters each to engrave. Joe has suggestions of what to put on each line (name, city, home phone, spouse or friend's cell, allergies, mantra, etc) but you can put whatever you want. I had extra room on one line, and added my favorite mantra, HTFU (harden the f*ck up).
Please visit their website (www.1bandid.com) for more information about their product, to read their story, or to place an order of your own.
While the band retails for $19.99 (a true bargain, as you are buying piece of mind when you run, bike, or do other sports) Joe and 1BandID has graciously agreed to give away one of his bands to a lucky reader.
You have 6 ways to enter. Please leave me a separate comment for each entry. The contest will end next Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 PST.
1) Follow 1BandID (@1BandID) on Twitter and leave me a comment that you are following them. This will give you one entry.
2) Like 1BandID on Facebook and leave me a comment that you did so. This will give you one entry.
3) Tweet the following: "check out the #giveaway @sugarmagnolia70 is doing with @1BandID! Go to http://is.gd/N9oyN5 for more details!". You can tweet this once a day, giving you one entry per day, until the contest ends.
4) Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect by clicking on the "follow" button on the left side of my blog. Leave me a comment telling that you are now following me. If you are already a follower of my blog, you can leave me a comment telling me that too. This will give you one entry.
5) Follow me on twitter (@sugarmagnolia70) and leave me a comment telling me that you are now following me. Again, if you already follow me on twitter you can leave me a comment telling me that as well. This will give you one entry.
6) Leave me a comment telling me why or how having a 1BandID would make you feel safer in whatever sport you do.
Remember, please leave a separate comment for each entry, and the contest will end on Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 PST.
Thank you, 1BandID, for letting me try this fabulous product! It's easy, simple, and I feel safer. And I love supporting a great American business!