By Matthew E. Milliken
March 13, 2016
Yesterday, I described how having a wearable activity tracker has prompted me to walk more than I otherwise would have. Still, I rarely if ever have walked as much as I did this past weekend. The reason for my activity was not just that I had a Fitbit, or at least not just that; the reason was that I had a Fitbit and a young relative did as well.
My niece (I’ll call her A—), a wonderful middle-school-aged person who lives in another state, loved her grandparent’s Fitbit and asked for one. She received it recently and befriended both my parent and me through the Fitbit social network. Last weekend, A— issued what Fitbit calls a Weekend Warrior challenge. The goal, as stated by Fitbit, is straightforward: “Take more steps than friends from Saturday to Sunday.”
I eagerly joined the challenge, despite knowing that my niece averages about 14,000 steps per day — significantly more than my average of 9,000 to 11,000 steps, depending on the week in question.
I fell behind my niece quickly, which had one beneficial effect: It prompted me to work hard to catch up to her. I took the lead briefly a couple of times over the weekend, only to fall behind every time by 500… 1,000… 2,000… sometimes 4,000 or even more steps!
My parent belatedly joined the challenge. Before too long, my beloved Parental Unit had vaulted over me and was engaging in a spirited contest with A— for first place.
I had one advantage over both of my rivals, however: Neither of them would take long late-night walks, whereas I had no problem doing so. This, of course, explains my nearly hour-long ramble through parts of Northeast Durham starting a little after 1:05 a.m. Monday.
I was able to pass my parent, but not A—. I’ve lost access to the final tally (it disappeared at some point on Thursday or Friday, I think), but A— finished first with about 37,000 steps between 2 a.m. Saturday Eastern time and 2 a.m. Monday, whereas I had about 34,000 steps and my parent got in about 31,000.
Unfortunately, I paid a price in my only partially successful pursuit a very limited amount of glory.
Late in my final walk of the Weekend Warrior challenge on Monday morning, I noticed an uncomfortable chafing sensation on one of my inner thighs. When I woke up Monday following a short night of sleep, I realized that I had a self-induced oval-shaped burn about the length of my thumb on the inside of my left thigh. Walking for the next two days was slightly uncomfortable, because of that and because I was a little sore from all the activity. By Wednesday I was back to normal, however.
All of which is to say that I look forward both to continuing walking actively and to continuing losing weight, but I won’t be doing a Fitbit challenge every week.
However, I think I would like a rematch. Perhaps I’ll be able to claim a Weekend Warrior trophy in April!