A few weeks ago, The New Yorker published a piece David Sedaris wrote about his fitbit ™. (This was like hitting the trifecta for me—The New Yorker + David Sedaris + fitbit = YAY!)
Sedaris wrote (in his inimitable way) about using his fitbit to measure his steps and becoming obsessed with what I like to call ‘upping the numbers.’ (He claims to have walked 60,000 steps/day, which took him nine hours. I guess I have to believe him—he IS David Sedaris—but how do you have time to do anything else? That’s a full workday that you’ve spent walking!) Anyway…I can relate to the obsession, if not the number of steps.
(This is my little green fitbit. I haven’t named her yet; generally I name things like this, but I have to wait until a name comes to me. Luckily, my kids had names as soon as I saw them, so the birth certificates didn’t end up blank.)
I bought my fitbit (I was tempted to buy the wristband type, but my sister had one and it fell off within the first month and she never found it again, so I opted for the clip on—BONUS! It’s cheaper!) a few months ago, while school was still in session. At first, I just counted the number of steps I took in a ‘normal day,’ which was between 5-7k. I also knew that I needed to take more than 10,000 in order to have my fitbit smile at me. I found that taking 5,000 steps before my first class, which began at 10:20, put me in better shape to get the 10,000 steps, as a good portion of the rest of my day would be spent on my behind, teaching recalcitrant non-readers.
But 10,000 wasn’t good enough.
Not when two of my friends (the fitbit will find other friends who are also using a fitbit, and your dashboard will rank you according to the number of steps you’ve taken) were taking almost TWICE as many steps as I was. Granted, one of those friends was retired and had all day to walk if she so chose, but I did NOT want to continue to show up at the bottom of the chart.
When summer rolled around, I decided I would start the day by walking. Somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., I pulled on the sweatpants and t-shirt and walking shoes and cruised the rich peoples’ neighborhood,
These are the badges one receives when one hits a goal. Notice that the “?” is empty—that’s for when I hit 20,000 in a single day. If I were to maintain the same trajectory as David Sedaris, I should be there by the end of the week.
I wonder if they’ll start taking those badges away after school resumes and I’m back to 10,000?