Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Drank The Kool-Aid

Yes, that is my new(-ish) Fitbit Flex on my wrist.

If you have spent any time at all here on Misdirected, you know that I have been pretty resistant to the idea of spending money on an item that performs functions that my cell phone handles adequately. In short: I am cheap. However, the arrival of Lor's new Fitbit Surge, courtesy of her sister, left us with an unallocated Fitbit Flex that we had received from my Mom a few weeks back. So, on Saturday, I linked it to my phone and strapped it on.

For those that don't know, Fitbit not only tracks your physical activity and sleep, but it also plugs you into the community of other Fitbit users around you. (In my case, Lor and my parents.) And it starts making comparisons between everyone's physical activity, to act as a motivational tool. For me, it was concrete evidence that I am not moving nearly as much as Lor is. Or my Mother. Or my Father. I am losing the physical activity war not only to my lovely wife, but to my retired parents as well. Not good.

How well am I doing? With two days worth of data, I can determine that I am apparently managing about 7,000 steps a day: roughly 3 miles a day. I was admittedly surprised to see how much of my physical activity is tied up in things like cleaning house and washing dishes - more than I would have expected. But, still, about 3,000 steps a day short of the 10,000+ steps that Fitbit wants me to be achieving on a daily basis. 

My initial reaction is resignation - I am a disabled gamer, for goodness sake. Who the heck expects me to manage 5 miles a day? But, I then compare my numbers to my father, who is also sedentary, also suffers from physical issues, and has got 20 years on me to boot. He is managing this level of activity, why the hell can't I? Humbling is a good word. Never mind comparing with my Mom who is apparently never ceasing to move. I can't manage 10,000 steps in a day, while my Mom can regularly manage over 20,000? Unacceptable.

Today is gym day, so I am very curious to see how the Fitbit Flex converts weight lifting into "steps". (Lor's shiny new one includes things like a heart rate monitor and multiple exercise modes, so she should be all set.) I am hoping that the combination of walking to the gym, then a workout, then walking home gets me in the ballpark of the golden 10,000 step goal that this demanding device is asking of me. But, if not, I think I have a plan. The Fitbit tracks "steps" actually by monitoring arm movement, not leg movement.

And I have a perfectly good guitar sitting in the corner, just waiting to help me game the system.

Maybe I Will Learn Some Thrash Metal,

- Hawkwind

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