A month or so ago, I read “Stepping Out” a personal essay by David Sedaris. In it, he shares his obsession with his Fitbit–my curiosity was piqued. Are you familiar with the Fitbit? It’s basically a high-tech pedometer, a personal device you wear on your wrist to record the number of steps you take in a day. I mentioned it my mom, who (rightly) took it as a hint and got me one. I chose black for its sleekness and wearability.
Fitbit sets a daily 10,000-step goal, which for my height, 5’10, is around four miles. Was that enough? I wasn’t sure.
In the city, I walk or ride my bike. If I can avoid public transit, I do. Not owning a car, keeps me active. It’s a different story out here at the cabin. I do my daily forest hike, but that’s about all I do. There’s not much stepping out because there’s nowhere to step out to.
Having had my Fitbit for four days, I’d only reached the 10,000 step goal once. Curious to know just how lazy I may or may not be, I wanted someone to compare myself to. I decided to reread that Sedaris article to check how many steps he was taking. Turns out, 10,000 steps for him was a walk in the park, and a very small park at that. He soon worked his way up from 10,000 steps to 65,000 steps. I’m not one to obsess (about exercise anyway) , but this did confirm that I’m could be borderline lazy.
Glancing at my Fitbit, it flashed 8 456. “Up and at ‘em!” it seemed to say. And, just like that I was. Throwing on a sweater and runners, I headed out into the evening. Up and down my driveway I skipped, hopped and ran; breathing heavily I check my wrist: 8 960. Two laps around the cabin got me to 9 240. Almost there, I headed back down the driveway, onto the road and into the darkness; the thought of bears, though, spun me around and I headed back toward the cabin. I was half way up the drive when “zzzst, zzzst.”– it was the Fitbit’s congratulatory vibration, a pleasant tingly sensation on my wrist. Raising my hands above my head, I did my best Rocky Balboa.
After dinner, I’m typically in for the night; I have a feeling this is changing. I wonder if I’ll get addicted to my Fitbit, like Sedaris. If that gratifying rush I felt from the wrist buzz is any indication, I already am.
Here’s a link to the Sedaris essay: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/30/stepping-out-3