Courtesy of my former employer, I received a Fitbit on May 2, 2014 as part of a health & wellness initiative. The program was instituted to get people active in the hopes of improving overall health and, hopefully, reducing insurance claims. If you completed the 12-week program and maintained a minimum of 42,000 steps each week, the Fitbit was free. If not, you had to pay for it. It was apparent early on that this was no challenge and thus began the obsession.
Thanks to the activity often inherent in my former role as well as a large area to cover between the two buildings I served, there were many days where I had the 10,000 steps logged before lunch. That wasn’t good enough as I wanted to hit the treadmill or park after work to get in 4-5 miles. Sometimes neither of those options were viable due to weather or workload. So, I started walking in my basement during Royals games. At first I started walking in circles around the basement, but that proved to be disorienting as I tried to keep an eye on the games. If only the ceiling in the basement was high enough to allow me to put a treadmill or similar equipment in place. Alas, walking in place or side to side was my solution. Some of my coworkers complained that walking in place didn’t count, but I rebutted that I was up and active, so the ultimate goal of the Fitbit was in play.
My initial thought was that I would walk if the Royals fell behind their opponent, but that plan was flawed if they jumped out to an early lead or immediately came back. So, I just walked during their plate appearances. Then a curious thing happened. I walked and they scored. No, I’m not superstitious enough to think that I had anything to do with their winning ways last year. It was total coincidence, but it didn’t prevent the coworkers who knew what I was doing to chide me if I missed a game and they lost. I digress.
By the time the 10-week program (shortened due to summer heat) was over, I had logged over 1.5 million steps and had worn holes in my shoes. For anyone curious, that 50,000 step day actually began at midnight as I walked until 1:30 AM. I got up early the next day, ran errands early, but then hit the trail with a friend. I was chafed by mid-afternoon and powered through until stopping around 10:00 PM. Although I’ve recently suffered through some issues with my legs, the obsession has lessened, but it hasn’t stopped.