Monday, June 12, 2017

All Hail, 10,000 Steps! by Cheryl Harper

For Christmas, I got a Fitbit. You probably have one, too. It seems to me the whole world is wearing a bracelet that is silently counting every step we take. Judging every step we take.  Maybe it's an Apple watch or a Garmin or some other brand of step counter. Maybe you even rock it old school and use the pedometer you clip onto your clothes. Counting steps: all the cool kids are doing it.

I started off slowly with a low goal. Why? Because I'm goal-driven and I like success. Why court failure, you know?

Where I walk:
At least once a day, it's too dark for pictures, but sometimes it looks like this.




And then I walk to this place with this guy so that he can do this (stand by the gate and tell me he's ready to go. This happens pretty reliably about five minutes after we make it into the dog park area. Fifteen minutes to walk over and another fifteen back for a five-minute inspection but whatever, dog).

And when my Fitbit vibrates at work, I say, "Pipe down, Fitbit. You aren't the boss of me." Talking to inanimate objects makes my boss worry. The common thread to all this walking? This guy. I was trying to figure out the mathematical formula to convert human steps to dog steps. He has twice the feet so he takes twice the steps, but there's some unknown factor that should be added from how hard he wags his tail and the extra torque needed to pull a large adult woman behind. If anybody knows the formula, drop it in the comments. All I know is that it's June now. Here, that means at least 90 degrees, 1000% humidity, and mosquitoes large enough to drive buses if they want to. I will never, ever, ever voluntarily show you the mess I am AFTER the walk, but here's an after picture of Jack.

So, this leads me to my question. What is the Fitbit for word count? I need something with goals that I can set and crush. My idea? A doughnut under a protective dome that only unlocks when I hit the day's goal.

What about you? Do you measure your steps every day? Got any magic tips for word goal motivation or a link for the secure doughnut distribution system?

31 comments:

  1. I love my Fitbit, although I don't make my steps nearly often enough. My Fitbit for writing is a sprint group on Facebook. Not that I do it often enough, but it can supply a real charge to getting going.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/682312161975359/

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    1. Having a friend to help push is a great thing! I haven't ever tried sprinting with anyone but I definitely should.

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  2. "A doughnut under a protective dome that only unlocks when I hit the day's goal." LOL! I don't think your Fitbit would like that idea. :) I don't measure my steps, but I do keep track of my miles while on my treadmill and elliptical. As for writing, deadlines are my best motivator.

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    1. Yes, deadlines are a motivator, but I have become such a procrastinator! Doughnuts might convince me not to wait until the last minute.

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  3. My motivation is a coffee cup on my desk with a quote from Hemingway. It's rated R so I won't give the complete quote here. "The first draft of anything..." so I keep typing, knowing that "tomorrow is another day" (Gone with the Wind quote) and I can fix it later. Not exactly a word count but a way to keep putting words on paper which ultimately add up! Good luck!

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  4. I enjoyed your post, Cheryl, especially the 'after' picture of Jack.. The doughnut under dome idea is great, though for me it would have to be a bag of potato chips! But I agree with Jill, that the deadline is the real motivator. Right now I'm thinking I ought to check out the Fit-bit....I definitely need something to get me out of my chair and away from my iPad!

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    1. Thank you! He sleeps as hard as he walks, and he's a good partner to get the steps in.

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  5. Cheryl, I always love seeing pictures of Jack, so thank you for sharing them.

    Yes, I have a Fitbit but (as a dog mom you can probably relate to this) I know I've gotten enough exercise when the pups come back in after a walk with me panting and immediately go to their beds to curl up for a nap! :)

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    1. Jack is so happy when he's out walking. As long as there are bunnies or ducks or squirrels, he'd just keep chasing. He is an inspiration.

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  6. Neat post, Cheryl! I, too, have a Fitbit, and love tapping the screen to see how many steps I've taken or flights of stairs I've climbed. The challenge for me is beating yesterday's total, at least by 25 steps or one flight of stairs. Wishing you a wonderful week!

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    1. I like that goal. You're always improving.

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  7. Hahaha! Yes, to the doughnut dome. And I'm flexible as far as the reward goes - a cupcake would also work, or cookie (frosted, please) even a handful of peanut M&M's. Hey, how 'bout a freezer dome with a tub of Ben & Jerry's? Love your Jack photos. There is nothing more motivating to get you moving than a dog in need of a walk.

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    1. Yes, I think the system could work with a lot of different rewards. Dogs are pretty nice personal trainers.

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  8. Hmmm, I am getting the message to walk more. Missy Tippens on Seekerville posted the same thing. I have been resisting the Fitbit as I don't want to be enslaved by it. I'm the type of person who would feel compelled to go out if I hadn't made my steps even if I was dead tired. Oh well. Hearing this so many times might mean I need to pay attention. LOL

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    1. Ah, yes, I have experienced that myself. It's easy enough to ignore the first message, but there comes a point where it becomes personal. :) I do understand what you're saying about becoming a slave. Talk to it like I do now and then. "You aren't the boss of me." That's a favorite of mine.

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  9. I don't have a fitbit, but my phone tells me to be more active sometimes and I can't figure out how to shut it up, lol. I definitely need to be more active, so I'm really liking your magic doughnut dome idea! Except I'd put a giant pizza under my dome.
    I try to set goals associated with exercise, like I have to walk a mile on my elliptical before I can sit down and write. I'll let you know how it goes.
    I hope those huge mosquitoes don't carry you away!

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    1. Yes, let me know how it goes. I've gotten to the point where doing housework is more attractive than either walking or writing, so I've got to find some motivation.

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  10. Hilarious post, Cheryl! I laughed! :D I don't have a dog, I've got a school aged child I walk to and from school. So that's my forced exercise. As for writing... I like the doughnut distributions system idea. I could write like the wind for the right carbs. ;)

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    1. Yes, forced is the exercise is the only kind I keep up with. Carbs are near and dear to my heart, but I have no willpower. Definitely need a system.

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  11. I love my FitBit. I wear it constantly and aim for 8k steps a day (there are days I'm barely at 4k which is considered BAD). I actually use checking my email and FB as my "reward" for reaching certain word counts--as I don't have Internet access on my writing computer, I keep my phone at the other end of the house, so I have to get up and get it. Double win--I get extra steps that way, LOL. Keep on stepping! And maybe I need a dog....hmmm. Great post, Cheryl!

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    1. 8,000 is great! And yes, walking to get the phone is smart. I've tried parking far away, but now, with the heat...Fitbit gonna be short now and then.

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  12. I don't have a Fitbit or any other steps tracking device, but we just got a new treadmill and I just finished walking on it for 45 minutes. Does that count? Truth be told, I almost always would rather be somewhere comfortable reading a good book. But I know that at my age I'm required to move more.
    It's blazing hot here too, another reason we got the treadmill. I'd pass out outdoors in the heat and humidity.
    Thanks for the pictures of Jack.

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    1. Yes, it definitely counts! Treadmills are the only way to keep up the good work in the summer in the South. I don't know why we go outside at all! Every day I give thanks for air conditioning.

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  13. I have a love/hate relationship with my fitbit, probably because the insurance company coerced me into using it instead of it being my idea. Sometimes incentives backfire -- last year I was trying for extra steps when I fell and broke my leg. However, if you find that magic reward dome for wordcount, I'd be happy to invest in one of those.

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    1. Booooooo, coercion. I'm sorry about the broken leg. That's terrible. I hope it's all healed up and you're back to stepping. I get the drive. The other thing I've been working on (for years. literally.) is trying to learn to be easy on myself. I'm not any better at that than I am hitting my word count!

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  14. I keep thinking about getting a Fitbit or something like it, but I had to retrain myself not to look at every walk in terms of how many miles I covered. My friends would tease me when I'd say, "only 2 miles today," or "I put in a good 5 miles today." Sometimes a walk on a trail or in the neighborhood or even with walking program on DVD is just a walk for the fun of it! I'm not sure I could trust myself not to obsess with a Fitbit! I understand Beth's comment--I fell down a ravine off a trail and broke my ankle about 15 years ago. I was so disgusted!

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    1. Yes, if you can do it and enjoy it, how much happier life can be. This is still something I fight with daily, hitting goals vs. enjoying the journey. That's a hard lesson to learn. A broken ankle would really bring it home, though. Hope you're all healed up and enjoying the right kind of walks!

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  15. I love the idea of the doughnut dome!! I would give anything to have something that motivates me to get my word count in every day. I hit 600 and feel exhausted and I look on Facebook to see someone post that they did their 6000 for the day! UGH. If you find something that works, let me know.

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  16. When good, I do a 500/50 routine. For every 500 words, I do 50 of something or combination thereof. So, 30 pushups/10 burpees/10 lunges. It takes only a couple of minutes, I'm breathing hard and then I'm back at it. Mind,I definitely experience mixed feelings when approaching my word count. " Yay, I'm nearly there...oh."

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  17. I can't get my fitbit to work. Arg.
    And Lucy the Dog definitely can take more steps than me, but when we get to the dog park, she never wants to leave.

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