I recently bought one of those new-fangled fitness trackers that you wear on your wrist. It is purple and at first that was the only thing I liked about it. Did I really need one more thing telling me how unfit I was?
The thing about me is that I know I’ll never win any sort of exercise competition (unless it involves power napping). Sure, I have every good excuse. I have a chronic disease that goes in and out of remission at will (and the last episode had me bedridden for two months) so my workout options are limited. I can’t even have a walking buddy because there are too many times I’d have to cancel.
On a whim, I bought the little purple wristband, figuring just maybe it would motivate me to at least try to move a little more. Maybe IT could be my workout buddy.
Instead, it sat in its box for weeks. It wasn’t very motivating.
Finally, I made an appointment with my son to help me set it up. Apparently, I was supposed to have charged it first. Who knew? I also didn’t know that charging a battery can take a long time. My son got bored and went to bed. I watched TV and ate chips. Absolutely no motivation that night either.
The next day, the battery was charged and my son helped me sync the thing to my phone. When he asked me how many steps I wanted to set as my daily goal I responded “500,” with as much dignity as I could muster. “Mom,” he sighed, “You’re supposed to take 10,000 steps a day!” “I’m setting it for 1,000,” he muttered to himself.
That first evening I logged in an impressive 100 steps (and most of those were walking to the table to eat the burrito I made my husband bring home for dinner). The silly thing wasn’t motivating me at all. I was beginning to wonder why I had bought it in the first place.
But, I’ve been wearing it for a few days now and I’ve made it to my goal the last two days. And, when I do, the whole bracelet wiggles in sheer joy and amazement (it already knows me well) and fireworks go off on the display. Who else in my life is going to go into such a frenzy when I tell them I’ve taken 1,000 steps?
I understand that to a fit person all this sounds ridiculous, but to a grandma who was bedridden a short time ago, this is big. Not that there aren’t bugs with this “bracelet of technology”. I have learned that you can’t fake it out by sitting in the recliner and waving your legs around a bit. And, raising a donut from your plate to your mouth also has no effect whatsoever. I’m moving after all, aren’t I?
But, overall I’m glad to have this little purple thing on my wrist. The happy dance it does when I hit my goal really does motivate me to move more. And, that is a very good thing.