A couple years ago my daughter gave me a Fitbit One as a Christmas present. It was one of those “what the hell do I buy a person who pretty much has everything and if he wants something he buys it” gifts that was fairly new on the market and there was a good chance that her dad had not purchased. She was right. As a very active person with a competitive attitude I had always kept track of my running and biking (pace, time and distance) and purchased the latest tech watches and GPS to log my miles but the Fitbit had not been on my radar. At first glance the Fitbit One is a glorified pedometer which tracks your steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned and distance traveled and an OLED display tells you the progress of your daily stats with a digital flower growing or shrinking based on your recent activity. It can be linked to the Fitbit site and you can synch all your activity to a very user friendly dashboard logging your active world, diet, and sleep.
As per the Fitbit site their whole line of exercise trackers are “more precise than other pedometers” with a “3-axis accelerometer”. That’s impressive I think but to me the beyond cool thing about Fitbits are the cheesy motivational messages: Hey Thomas, Howdy, I like u, Go, Hello, Climb it, Woot! Its on! Faster, I’m ready, Stepitup, Hey hey! Move it, Cheers, Ucandoit, Lets go, Hug me, Ready? You rock, Burn it, HIGHFIVE, LOVE YA, WHATS UP, and WTF (not really but would make a cool comment), simplicity, and magic that stimulates your competitive spirit and craving to constantly want to take more steps and climb more stairs—fitbit addicted.
My love for the Fitbit and my quest for more steps came to an abrupt end when I looked down one day and it was GONE–lost somewhere in my travels. I quickly retraced my steps (pissed that they weren’t being recorded) but no sign of my little buddy. I contacted the Fitbit people to keep an eye out for my Fitbit being used by someone stealing my steps and their great customer service department helped me get a replacement—they rock. I quickly registered my new buddy and Woot! I was logging steps again always trying to do more pushed by my own personal Hal (intelligent space ship computer in the 1968 epic science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey). Thousands of steps and months passed when one day a former co-worker found my long lost friend and mailed it to me so Fitbit one became two. I did the logical thing and gave one to my wife—mistake?
As I mentioned earlier, the Fitbit fuels your competitive drive like lighter fluid on the barbecue. That’s fine for a sedentary person but when you give a Fitbit to an already overly competitive athlete the message should be, “hang on we’re throwing gasoline on the barbecue”. My wife is a very competitive athlete who starts with a run in the morning and throws in some biking, tennis or kayaking later in the day. She has always used GPS watches to log her activity but never counted our casual walks in her activity logs. She clipped on the Fitbit and was off on her maiden trek—message should have been, “step aside coming through“. At the end of the day she wanted to compare steps to obviously claim victory, but I had logged more steps. How could that happen when she had run 5 miles in the morning as compared to my pathetic 3 mile walk and we had tallied the same thousands of steps during our tennis match? I lucked out because she forgot to clip on her One during her run shorting her about 10,000 steps so I made up a rule: unless Fitbit records the steps they are not part of our step war. Sorry I said anything because it guaranteed my beyond competitive wife would never forget her Fitbit since it would be anatomically attached from this point on and my hopes of ever outstepping her again would only be if I became a professional Polka dancer or we mysteriously lose her ONE—how would that happen? She has joined my SIL (another long-time Fitbit princess) in easily outdistancing any other mere mortal.
The point of this post is to highly recommend this little exercise whip. It becomes your exercise coach and motivator where the most remote parking spots become the most desirable as long as you log more steps. Considering cost/benefit this is one of my favorite gadgets that anyone who needs a little kick in the ass should purchase and become an addicted Fitbit prince or princess. Follow this link to purchase your own Fitbit and take a few more steps to balance out that double cheeseburger and beer.
Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Black
Addendum: Today (10-22-15)
On a long run every runner knows that strategically placed porta-johns are sometimes a godsend and we plan our routes accordingly. This morning my wife needed a porta-john pit stop and in the process dropped her beloved Fitbit. Since neither of us are willing to do the dive I guess I will pull away in our step war at least until we can visit Amazon and with 2 day prime our battle will be rejoined. Going on Fitbit Three.