Life is always easier if you're in the right gear.

Fitbit Challenges: Try It. You’ll Like It.

My first Fitbit was the Fitbit Charge.

My first Fitbit was the Fitbit Charge.

I purchased my first Fitbit in April 2015. I figured it would be a good way for me to monitor how many steps I was walking each day.  I was a teacher at that time in a 6th grade classroom.  I figured I’d easily hit 10,000 steps a day (the recommended daily allowance). Boy was I in for a surprise.  My actual daily step totals came in at much less.  I got up and walked circles in my classroom, even if students were not needing my assistance, just so I could get my steps in.  That was the benefit of the Fitbit Charge for me.  It pointed out the truth of my inactivity and got me going.

That school year was immediately followed up by a household move from Oregon to Colorado which was followed four days later by a move overseas.  By move, I mean, pack everything essential for your survival in a foreign country that you know virtually nothing about, in two large checked bags and one carry on and a backpack. Good times.  Then struggle through security because you are carrying a laptop, an iPad, a cell phone, and a camera and all the gadgets that go with said camera, plus, a removable hard drive, oh, yeah and a portable charger for all that gear.  I was unpacking everything into about six bins every time we had to go through security. My husband was irritated with me.  My youngest daughter figured out she could get through security faster if she went through a different line.  It was a whole lot of fun…not. But I was getting a lot of steps in. That is, until the buttong on the side of my Charge decided to go missing. 

Somewhere between Colorado and Frankfurt, I knocked the little button that allowed me to read my Fitbit screen completely disappeared into the great beyond. Apparently, I snagged it on something, and it came off. This made everything very inconvenient. The Fitbit was still useable, but I could no longer press the little button to see the display of my stats and my steps, and the time of day. I had to either pull up the app on my phone or log on to my PC.  I couldn’t get a moment by moment update.  That sucked. So..I put my Fitbit away…for six months.  Then Christmas rolled around and I was back in the States where there is Best Buy.  I wasn’t going to replace my Fitbit, because I was totally unimpressed with the stupid button coming off…but I also noticed how much less activity I was engaging in.  So…I splurged and bought a Fitbit Surge.  With a legit wristband so my Surge won’t fall off (which was a problem with the Charge), and the buttons seem a bit more solid that those on the Charge.

That was a month ago.  And I just recently discovered Fitbit Challenges.  You can invite friends to compete against you for the most number of steps over the weekend, or during the workweek.  I had a friend invite me to participate in a Weekend Challenge last weekend.  I had no idea what this was about, so I looked into it.   It looked like fun so I invited her and several others to participate in a Weekend Challenge this next weekend.  I then went on to invite a bunch of friends to participate in a Weekday Challenge.  I’m telling you, this challenge is kicking my butt and we are only two days in.

I’m exhausted.

I’m in pain. My body from my waist to my toes is screaming at me in defiance.

That was only after Day 1.

I went out and beat my Day 1 stats on Day 2.

I’m still in pain…but not as much.

I’ve met every goal I set in the last two days (except for drinking enough water and sleeping enough).

I’ve reached some personal bests as the result of just knowing that my efforts are pushing others to better their efforts.  And there is one person in our group who is just over the top.  (There’s one in every group.) I find I just can’t let that go, so, of course, I try to keep up.  This pushes me…but I know even if I am not moving past her, I am dogging her every step of the way.  She’s having to adjust her activity to stay ahead of me.  And I’m doing the same.  This is okay with me.

It’s also more effort than I was expending when I was pushing play every day (which I haven’t given up on).

Here are my stats for today (yesterday’s stats were similar):

7.03 miles walked.  (Are you kidding me?!!!  I feel good if I get two miles a day in!)

122 active minutes (meaning my heart rate had to be up for more than ten minutes for it tor even register).  My goal?  25 minutes a day.

Apparently, I burned 2, 994 calories, but that’s not a helpful diagnostic unless you’re tracking the calories you consume, so, I think that’s great, but it’s meaningless in my case, because I hate logging in the stuff I ate (like I could find Lithuanian stuff in the Fitbit list of foods anyway).

The rest of it, though, is fantastic!

If this keeps me active, then I’m going to do a challenge every week and weekend. I just hope people will join me.  I’m having so much fun with this. If you have a Fitbit, friend me, and let’s challenge each other to exceed our personal bests. Try it.  You might really like it. (I think it is really fun and, no, this is not a sponsored post.  It’s just me, being real.)

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Hi, I'm Cat A.Olson, @According2Cat on Twitter, or @TheDigitalCat on Instagram, and I write about my cycling adventures. In 2010, after 25 years off the bike, I decided to get a bike and start riding again. In 2012, I was diagnosed with DCIS, an early and completely curable form of breast cancer. I had five weeks of radiation treatment and I rode my bike to nearly every treatment. In 2013, I decided to get a faster bike. I'm finally getting serious about losing weight, and riding really fast with the cool kids.

I ride every chance I get, as fast as I can, for as long as my body will allow. I'm learning how to embrace challenges like helmet hair, padded pants, clipless shoes, flat tires, bugs in my teeth, and...ugh...hills. I'm learning that both cycling and life are easier and a lot more fun when you're in the right gear.

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