I recently read an article in Reader’s Digest about a man who had decided to try a Fitbit and it changed his life. He didn’t like to exercise, but felt walking was something he could do – and boy did he do it! He managed to change not only his health and weight – but also his outlook on life. After reading that article, I thought that this was something I could do – no, I KNEW I could do this. After all, I walked a lot at work – it couldn’t possibly be that hard. This delusion ranks right up there with my thought that there are no calories in Oreos as long as you eat them at midnight while standing in the kitchen in the dark.
So, I bought my Fitbit and on my first day, I realized that I was way beyond being a couch potato – I had actually taken root and become a tree! All day long I was tapping my wrist, watching that one blinking dot (each dot equals 2000 steps) and thought – what the heck is wrong with this thing! I was still in my delusional stage. I was so excited when the second dot finally appeared that I didn’t even notice that it was 10 o’clock at night! Holy Cow! How was I going to get 10,000 steps in when it took me 16 hours to go 2000!
The next day, I made up my mind to take the longest route to everything – the bathroom, the lunchroom and all of my meetings. I managed to light up the second dot by 4 p.m. – I was doomed! I really didn’t want to admit to my husband that he had married a plant – but I didn’t see any way around forcing him to start coming on walks with me. I should mention here that Pat used to walk five miles every day with the dog – until his job and other responsibilities got in the way. So he is used to walking long distances – and when I walked with him I never could keep up with him – but I was willing to try just to see if this stupid Fitbit really did have five dots which would all light up and buzz when I hit 10,000!
So, our first walk together in over 5 years commenced. We went to a new local lake which has nice flat walking paths and not a lot of people who would laugh at me. There was pretty scenery and the path goes all the way around the lake. We started at the boat ramp full of enthusiasm and energy. As we walked, my Fitbit started lighting up – first one dot, then two, then three – we were on a roll! My goal was to at least light up four of the darn little stinkers – I didn’t want to overdo it and then be unable to walk a single step the next day (I am SERIOUSLY out of shape!). As we neared the top of the dam, the fourth dot just lit up – meaning I had walked 6000 steps – a serious improvement over my first day!
As we stood on top of the dam, we had to ask ourselves this question – “Is it closer to go back the way we came or just finish the loop?” As we looked off into the distance, we decided that it was probably just as far to finish to the loop as it was to go back, so forged ahead.
Apparently, the over-achiever in me had kicked in – and the fact that I don’t see distances well (and neither does my husband) – because by the time we had made to the other end of the lake, we still had at least 2 MILES TO GO! I had learned that my Fitbit did indeed light up and buzz at 10,000 steps and I was still looking at another 2 MILES! It was dark, I was cranky and I knew they were going to find me collapsed on the side of the trail covered in goose poop in the morning.
My husband took command of the situation and told me to call our daughter who lived just around the corner and tell her to come rescue us – and take us to our car. I hesitated only long enough to drag my phone out of my back pocket and start dialing. After I explained to her what we needed (HELP, glasses and a rider to our car) – and when she stopped laughing, she agreed to come get us.
When she drove in the car, she had our grandchildren, Lizzie and Liam in the backseat. They were excited to be going on a ride at night, even if it was just around the corner. As we got into the car, Lizzie asked –
“How long have you been walking?”
“A little over an hour.”
“And you still can’t find your car????”
I’m not sure which sounds better – I couldn’t find my car or I’m so out of shape, I couldn’t WALK to it.