For the past several years, I have had a Fitbit strapped to my wrist, only taking it off when I get in the shower or take a swim. It’s become a part of me that I really depend on, not just to track how many steps I take every day, but to record my sleep habits, my heart rate and my eating habits. It’s something that has slowly become such an intrinsic part of my life that I didn’t know how I ever got by without it.
I’m betting you can guess where this is heading. The beginning of this week, my Fitbit fell apart and broke. It’s not something that I can repair, and apparently the company doesn’t offer repair services on it. I’ve had a variety of Fitbit devices through the years and a few times I upgraded them because I wanted better features, while other times the company replaced them because they broke while under warranty. This time, I actually outlasted the one year warranty and while they offered me a 25 percent discount on a new device, they aren’t willing to replace it.
I found myself at a loss. Here we are with perfect weather. And I have no way to count my steps. The girls were hounding me to go for walks, but I would lose my steps. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea that I could go out for a walk without the device strapped to my arm. It sounds funny now that I say it, but I really felt like I couldn’t walk without it. Technology is great when it works, but it really bites you in the tail when it doesn’t.
After I realized that I could, indeed, go for a walk without the Fitbit, I also realized that all was not lost on the technology front for me. We still used the Walk For A Dog app to earn money for our favorite adoption group, I recorded my workout on Map My Dog Walk and my watch does keep track of my health statistics. We even caught a few new Pokémon along the way.
I think what struck me, though, was the shift in thinking for me away from the goal of getting steps back towards the enjoyment of just going out for a walk. I got to experience it more like our dogs do. Taking a walk should be more for enjoyment, unwinding and getting back in touch with yourself and your canine companions and less about just going the distance because you feel you have to get “steps.”
I’m still not sure if I’ll replace the Fitbit. It is a motivator for me, but maybe I should start depending more on those wagging tails to get me going. What I do know is that it’s nice to be able to enjoy walking again after recovering from some health setbacks. Nothing beats a good walk, no matter what it is that gets you off the couch and moving your feet.