This Thing Almost Drove Me to Commit Murder

Fitbit not

FitBit. The electronic gadget connected to the internet that tracks your steps. At least 10,000 of them per day, if you wish to stay in the good graces of the self-respecting FitBitters.

Wait, you say, isn’t this just an old-fashioned pedometer?

No it is not. It is connected to the internet, thereby making it a new-fashioned-latest-electronic-must-have. Not only does it count your steps, it will count your calories and monitor your water intake, keep track of your weight and report it all on-line to the whole freaking world. Because we just do not have enough electronic devices tracking and reporting our every scintillating move to the entire universe.

FitBitters are fervent believers, much like the Moon children who once stalked people at the airport. But instead of waving flowers and promises of world peace in your face, FitBitters wear their little FitBit unit 24 hours a day and wax poetic about the promise of FITNESS. Incessantly.

“It’s so much fun!” said my FitBit obsessed friend over breakfast one fateful day. “It really makes a difference in your fitness level. And there are statistics and competitions and badges and on-line fitness partners.”

Competitions and badges. It sounds like an adult version of Girl Scouts, without the redeeming aspect of the cookies. And I should have known that something was amiss when my friend described making laps around the dining room table at the end of an evening when she hadn’t reached 10,000 steps.

Still, I bought one. After all, who doesn’t want world peace and FITNESS? I configured all of my settings to PRIVATE and set only the step counter. And that is when the trouble started.

At first I thought the stupid thing was broken. I was not getting anything anywhere near 10,000 steps, even on my 30-minutes on the treadmill days. It turns out that in order to get 10,000 steps a day, I was going to have to walk about five miles a day. Thirty-five miles a week.

Let’s put that into some perspective.

In another life, when I trained for 10ks and a half marathon, I ran three miles, three times a week, and took a long run on the weekend, between eight and 15 miles. For the math illiterate out there, that is twenty-four miles a week, tops. Thirty five miles is in marathon training territory. And at this juncture, it is appropriate to note that my days of training for marathons of any fraction are permanently over.

And so are my FitBitting days. The inglorious end came in short order after my FitBit friend and I took a jaunt to the city. One of us, who did not even have her FitBit on, thought we intended to leisurely stroll around Chicago admiring architecture. The other, who never takes her FitBit off, thought we intended to woosh past architecture at warp speed so as to maximize the number of steps recorded on the FitBit.

The upside was that the woosher kept well ahead of stroller – thereby eliminating the very real possibility of having her dead body tossed into the Chicago River. I knew then that I had to make a meaningful change in my life because I look terrible in orange, no matter how much it is the “new black.” That FitBit had to go.

I fantasized about making a big dramatic scene of throwing both FitBits out of the window of the train, with some eloquent parting words, such as “FUCK THIS.” That plan was thwarted due entirely to the fact that said windows do not open. Also, pitching her FitBit opened me to additional charges. But as soon as I got home, my FitBit hit the trashcan. Eloquent parting words were spoken and no one got arrested.

Then I drank wine. I earned it.

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