For Christmas, I received a Fitbit from Santa. Fitbit is an electronic fitness tracker you wear on your wrist. It looks like a digital watch on a plastic watch band. Mine is the "Charger" model, and came in a bluish-grey color. It is designed to effortlessly monitor your movement, store the information in an online profile, and provide you with information to improve your fitness. It also is supposed to track your sleep cycle, which could be quite valuable to me as I have suspected for some time that I have sleep apnea. The profile provides you with a place to add activities, food consumed, and to set goals related to various areas of your overall fitness.
I saw the device hanging from my stocking on Christmas morning. I must admit I was, at first, a bit offended by this gift. Was Santa suggesting I was not fit? Did he think I needed to monitor my fitness so that I could make changes to improve my life? Isn't he supposed to be the overweight guy who eats too many cookies? I don't even like cookies! And we were supposed to have waffles for breakfast on Christmas morning. Thanks, Santa.
I've essentially stopped exercising this year because my workload has been intense. I ran, on average, 17 miles per week last year and I loved every foot of it. I didn't lose weight, but my body did change shape and I felt better in most every way. I admit I would like to return to running because it empowered me and provided me with a time to either reflect, plan, consider, or just tune out. I don't deny that I could and should improve my overall fitness, I'm just skeptical of a digital watch serving as the catalyst for any change. These are the reasons my Fitbit has been sitting on my nightstand, unused, until this evening.
After consuming too many pieces of pizza during dinner tonight, I caught myself wishing I had the energy to go for a run. I'm so out of shape I cannot merely "go" for a run. I will have to work my way back to running 4 or more miles at once. I'll have to start out with a minute or two, and eventually get to an hour. That's how I did it last year. I starting thinking about taking the steps to get back to where I was so that I could achieve one of my goals for 2015: run a 10k in under 90 minutes. Now, to some of you, that doesn't seem like a big goal. To me, it is something I will have to work very hard to achieve. I'm not naturally athletic. I have asthma. I'm an unhealthy weight for my height. It is going to be a difficult goal to achieve, but I am capable and I will achieve it. The key is getting started.
I was thinking about taking that first step when I remembered my Fitbit. I found it in a turquoise dish on my nightstand, buried under a thermometer and various charging cables. I pulled it out, literally dusted it off, and plugged it in to the computer. I've set up a profile and am ready to give it a shot. I'm still not convinced it will do anything more than tell me the time when I'm away from my phone or any modern electronic device. Perhaps it will be the accountability piece I've been lacking this year.
I've set an alarm for 5:30 am and intend to go for a walk. There won't be any running just yet. I'll set off and see how far my legs will take me. I won't meet my goal if I don't start with a single step. If you see me out walking, or running in a few weeks, just ask me for the time so that I don't feel like this Fitbit is a waste of Santa's resources.