I turned 33 this month. On my birthday, before taking in my traditional birthday movie*, I ventured to Best Buy in an effort to “treat myself” and buy something I wouldn’t normally get for myself.
So, in a wave of frivolity that sent shivers of fear into the bones of the collected Geek Squad, I got a fitbit.
Is this how people in their 30s treat themselves? I can’t imagine how I’m going to treat myself when I’m in my 40s, but I hope that whatever it is comes as a swallowable pill**.
At any rate, I begin my 34th year staring at what essentially amounts to a buckled rubber band with a detachable accelerometer with five lights on it***. My immediate instinct was to think that I may have made a mistake. I’m not exactly a fitness buff****, so I could easily imagine this doohickey quickly languishing forgotten in a desk drawer along with a first generation iPod Touch***** and a copy of the soundtrack from The Cable Guy (1996).
Except, that didn’t happen.
Instead, in the two weeks since I bought the little trinket, it has come to unquestionably rule much of my life with an iron fist. I haven’t been away from the device for longer than it takes to charge it every several days. It buzzes at me, and I must respond.
Many is the time in the last several weeks when I have ended a conversation in mid-sentence, because I needed to walk around in a circle so I can get my 250 steps in before the end of the hour******. Abbey the Cat originally thought I was trying to imitate her by walking around the house in a perpetual, aimless circle, but after two weeks of doing it regularly, even she doesn’t know what’s going on anymore. Last week, I thought I had lost my fitbit, and then completely lost interest in any kind of exercise whatsoever, because, well, if the machine isn’t tracking me, then what the hell is the point?
Now, before you go thinking that I have—in the span of a few weeks—gone from being a “sitting enthusiast*******” to being some kind of health nut, I can assure you that some of the other pre-set goals for the device are a little Herculean for the blubbery magnificence that is my frame. 10,000 steps in a single day? What am I, some kind of Kryptonian Batman? Eight full hours of sleep every night? Now I believe you have me mistaken for some manner of squirrel*******. Log every little thing I eat in hopes of getting a better idea of my calories ingested in relation to calories burned? Get a warrant, then we’ll talk.
I don’t know if I’m even particularly interested in getting really fit. If I did that, I’d have to buy a whole new wardrobe, and I don’t think the Target menswear line is quite what it used to be. I suppose I just want to not let my body go completely to hell.
Maybe as time goes on, I will get more fit in this process; I’m certainly getting there. Last week, I made my goal 6,000 steps every day, and hit it. This week, 7,000, and if I can finish writing this post, I’ll probably get that done, too. Eventually, I may hit the American Heart Association minimum requirements for an active human lifestyle. I also get 7 hours of sleep, which may be under the recommended amount, but is well above any realistic expectation. One day, I may even start paying more attention to what I eat. I mean, I probably won’t, but last month I would have said I probably wouldn’t start walking every hour just because my wrist buzzed, but here we are********.
*It was the latest re-boot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. On spec, it would appear to be a mix of a lot of things I like. The actual film—while not quite deserving the toxic word of mouth surrounding it—is still no better than a C+.
**And is covered by the roulette wheel that will pass for health coverage after 2024, but I digress.
***One of the few times in life when there are, in fact, not four lights.
****Don’t everybody look so surprised.
*****From a time before the thing could load apps! We were just so dumbfounded by the notion of a touchscreen that we would do just about anything Steve Jobs would say.
******No joke. The machine buzzed a reminder about my 250 steps just as I typed that sentence. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep my train of thought going when I get back.
*******™ Party Now, Apocalypse Industries.
********Squirrels being notorious for needing an inordinate amount of sleep, that is. #themoreyouknow
*********I keep trying to think of another conclusion for this week’s post, but it’s 5:50 and the fitbit just went off again, so I better get my steps in and call of the rest of this post for the week.