I’ll be the first to admit that I am obsessed with my fitness tracker. I got it for my birthday almost a year ago, and while I was initially skeptical I would never use it, that quickly proved to be false. I wear it every day. It’s honestly a part of me at this point — and not just because I wear it on my wrist from sunup to sundown. I haven't even owned a tracker for that long, but I almost can't remember my life without it since it's such an integral part of my day-to-day life. I literally don't go anywhere without it, whether I'm going to the gym or to an upscale event — I don't care how dorky it looks, I will get my steps in no matter what it takes.
One of my favorite things about owning a fitness tracker is the unspoken club of people who read that above paragraph and knew exactly what I was talking about. Whether you personally have a tracker or not, you can't deny that there is a unique set of experiences that come with wearing this little piece of fitness technology on you at all times. People who wear fitness trackers, you can relate to these 10 things:
1. The Soul-Crushing Despair Of Unknowingly Walking Around With A Dead Tracker All Day
Sometimes, my tracker warns me it’s about to die, and sometimes, it just doesn’t. Then I’m unknowingly walking around with a dead tracker all day — and of course those are always the days when I end up walking an extra 6 miles. There are no words to adequately describe that feeling of checking my app when I've had a particularly active day and seeing — 0 steps?! I’m not ashamed to admit that there’s been times I almost cried out of frustration. (OK, maybe I’m a little ashamed to admit it.)
2. The Subsequent Urge To Give Up For The Week
It’s not just a day that gets messed up when you forget to charge — it’s your whole week. You start doing mathematical calculations to see how many extra steps you’d have to do per day to make up for one missed day. You conclude it’s impossible without running an extra 10,000 every day, and you consider just throwing in the towel for the entire week. I mean, if your tracker doesn’t count it, did you even walk?
3. The Almost Superhuman Dexterity Required To Keep Your Tracker Hand Free At All Times
Ever since I got my tracker, I’ve been carrying my coffee in my left hand to allow my right hand to swing freely so I can get my steps. That’s not too difficult, but sometimes (every chance I get), I’ll take this to extreme levels. Anybody else ever try carrying all their groceries on one arm so they can get the steps on their tracker-wearing arm? I do. All the time. I’m beginning to understand why my left arm is significantly stronger than my right.
4. The 11:50 p.m. Mad Dash
My tracker resets itself at midnight, and if I haven’t gotten to 10,000 as midnight approaches, I will go to ridiculous lengths to meet my goal. I will run around my 10-by-12-foot room a million times at 11:58 p.m. I will start sprinting in place. It’s a true race against the clock.
5. The Need To Get Creative With Walking
I do a lot in the name of extra steps. Sure, there are the normal things, like walking to a further subway stop or taking the stairs, but I also take a stupidly roundabout way to the bathroom. I pretend to go out for lunch so I can take a walk in the middle of the day. I walk in place at the crosswalk while waiting for the light to change. I'll even just be a little free with how much I swing my arms when standing still. Is that cheating? Probably. Do any of these methods accomplish anything besides eliciting looks from strangers? TBD.
6. The Extra Guilt That Comes With Having A Lazy Day
Now, if I spend a day on the couch, I can’t deny my laziness. It’s written on my tracker app in plain English: “You took 200 steps today, you scrub. You really need to get out more.” OK, so it doesn’t say that exactly, but it might as well.
7. The Excitement That Comes With Finding Out Another One Of Your Friends Has A Tracker
There’s pretty much no better way to bond with someone than talking about your fitness trackers. Try to tell someone who’s never used a fitness tracker that you took 15,000 steps today and see how much they care. Answer: Not at all.
8. The Moment When You See Your Life Flash Before Your Eyes When You Think You’ve Lost Yours
My tracker doesn’t always fall off, but when it does, I actually see my life (and all the steps I’ve walked) flash before my eyes. What happens to all my data if someone steals my tracker? Is there a way to transfer all of it to my new tracker (because there’s no way I’m living without one now that I’ve seen the light)? Then I look on the ground and realize it’s right below my feet, and I breathe a huge sigh of relief.
9. The Sneaking Suspicion That Your Tracker Is Messing With You At All Times
I strongly suspect my tracker is trolling me. I swear, on days when I feel like I've walked around the Earth five times, I'll check my tracker and I'm still 3,000 steps shy of my daily goal. Then on other days when I feel like I've barely moved, I'll see that I've somehow magically walked 20,000 steps. Huh?
10. The Strong Urge To Recruit Everyone You Know To The Tracker Team
I bought my mom a tracker for her birthday. I would buy my siblings one if they expressed even the smallest desire to own one (see item No. 7). If I had enough money, I'd be the Oprah of trackers.