The Watch


by Hunter Potter

Dear Mom,

It is not often that I talk to you through writing, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done for me. I would not have been able to achieve the level of success and happiness I am experiencing if it wasn’t for your constant support and kindness. Recently, I was given the task of choosing one tangible object that is very meaningful and significant in my life. I chose to carry my GPS wristwatch. We both share the same passion for running and cross-country, so you know that this watch means much more to me than a simple device that communicates time and distance.

My GPS watch weighs four ounces and has a metallic black color with hints of red. You have seen me wear this watch every time I get ready for practice in the morning. I have carried my watch for two years through freezing winter mornings and scorching summer nights. The rapid beeping of the watch propels my legs down roads, and I gain a deep sense of satisfaction when I press the button to end my runs. Once I record my run, I take pleasure in knowing that it is stored among thousands of others. Often times when wearing the watch, I feel a deep sense of pride about my accomplishments and dedication to the sport of cross-country. When I feel the cool metal press against my wrist, I am reminded of my commitment to running and feel determined to achieve success. There are many times when I wake up in the morning, aching and grimacing with pain, but I choose to run anyway. The truth is, I do not have a choice. Whenever I place the watch on my wrist, it commands me to get up in the morning and endure the pain. On days when I lose my passion to run, I can feel the watch’s judgment and disdain. The watch knows that on these days I am letting myself down. It holds statistical data on every day of my life and knows when I am not reaching my potential.

I remember when I received the watch on Christmas Day in 2018. While most kids were unwrapping new phones and video games, I unwrapped the watch you had given me. I remember how excited I was when I felt the watch in my hand and how you smiled down at me when you realized that I shared your passion and excitement for running. I can still picture myself running through the Minnesota snow and frost, feeling comforted and elated because of the watch. At the end of the run, I would find you standing ready with a cup of hot chocolate, asking me how my run was. I still cherish those memories, and they hold a deep place in my heart. I also remember summer vacations in Mexico, when I had no motivation to run. On those days, you asked why I was even choosing to run, but all I can remember is the watch making the decision for me. That is the true value of the watch. Without it, there would have been many days where I would have chosen not to run. I would have slept in, enjoyed more time on the beaches of Mexico, or escaped the brutality of Minnesota winters by staying inside, but I would have let myself down. The watch has made me see my potential. It has made me a better runner and a better person.

I chose to address this letter to you because I know you will be able to understand why this watch plays such an important role in my life. The watch reminds me of my achievements and struggles, as well as the support you have given me. You helped inspire me to begin running, and without that, I would not be as determined and driven as I am today. In the next chapters of my life, I will continue to carry my watch. With every mile I log, I will be reminded of all the joy that you have brought me.

Your son,

Hunter Potter


One Reply to “The Watch”

  1. This one hits close to home as this past Christmas I too gave my daughter her 1st Garmin. I often wonder what journeys the watch will log for her and what special relationship she will have with her watch (as all of us runners do). Thank you for sharing your story Hunter.

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