Have you heard of these things? The FitBit Wireless Activity Tracker?
I wasn’t a believer.
“It’s a damn pedometer,” I said. “What the damn big deal?”
Well, now I know. It’s pretty much like a Gigapet for adults. Remember those?
Well, I was given a FitBit ZIP in May and lost that damn thing in less than a month.
Here are five lessons I learned from losing this little piece of joy in a rubber pedometer.
1) Incentive works.
So, the FitBit works like this: you have to walk ten thousand steps a day. If you don’t hit that goal, the fitbit scowls at you. If you DO hit it, you get a huge smiley face. You add your friends to your list and they can either cheer or taunt you if you don’t hit the mark. When you have a few 10K days in a row, you realize how easy it is and you want to do it more. It’s incredible how powerful the incentive was and much it motivated me. You become compelled to walk…
2) It isn’t hard to walk ten thousand steps.
This applies to those who aren’t physically mobile, of course. I should make that disclaimer. For those of us who are relatively and temporarily able-bodied, it was pretty interesting to me to see how easy it was to achieve 10K steps. I didn’t have to sign up for a triathlon to make it happen every day.
3) Mindfulness matters.
When I was too busy and rushing around, I’d forget my ZIP at home. This happened during a few days when I had softball games and MAN! Was I pissed! I easily could’ve gotten in well over 10K steps during a game. If you aren’t thinking carefully and being mindful, you might leave your FitBit home and lose a whole days worth of steps. And this becomes a real thing.
4) Fitness toys are contagious.
Once I started posting about having a ZIP, people got curious. People liked all the pictures I’d been posting about running or playing tennis or softball on my instagram account but when I posted a picture of little guy, people got realllllly curious. They wanted in. They wanted to know more about it. What is up with that, I wonder?
5) There is life after FitBit.
So, last Sunday, I had my little sucker clipped to my pocket. He was facing out, enjoying the glorious day and loving his electronically controlled life. I got home from running errands, looked down to check my steps and alas! My little friend, who I named Licorice, was gone. He jumped ship, right out of his little rubber holster. It took me a few days to process this. What was the point of even exercising now that I wouldn’t be rewarded with his huge smile each day? I was wrong. Exercise must happen, with or without Licorice around to cheer me on. There is life after FitBit.
I have contacted the company and asked for a replacement ZIP because I really think they have some room for improvement with the packaging to hold those ZIPS in place better. There will never be another Licorice, but I’m taking suggestions for a new name for my new friend when he arrives. Summer is here and it’s a great time to move more and feel better in your body, as much as you’re willing and able. Consider getting a ZIP to cheer you on! photos courtesy of the author and Giga Pet
Giga Pet photo courtesy of Samantha S. from flikr