Fitbit: A Challenging Week

Laddie_Head SquareI’ve been using a Fitbit for over two years. I originally purchased it to track hiking mileage but quickly started wearing it every day. Although I have enjoyed the weekly stat updates from Fitbit and definitely watched my steps on a daily basis, I have rarely used the social media aspects of the device. I had a couple of Fitbit Friends, but not too many interactions with them.

Last week I was invited to participate in my first Fitbit challenge called a Workweek Hustle. Total steps — Five days — Monday to Friday. Usually I say no to things like this because I don’t want to bother and am mostly self-motivated when it comes to reaching my fitness targets. But I figured I might as well give it a try even if I wasn’t sure what my goals were for participating. Cherise of DCAF/DSMA was the organizer and most of the participants were diabetes types. When the challenge started, I was still in Arizona where I am a step-monster walking the dog, hiking, biking, playing golf, and enjoying easy access to the outdoors. I flew back to Minnesota mid-week and although I keep the same goal of 10,000+ steps/day here, it sometimes take more planning to get to my target.

Because there is always social media trash-talk when you get into contests like this, I had fun from the beginning. On the first day I learned from Kerri that Ben (whom I didn’t know previously) was very “steppy” and she wasn’t kidding. From the beginning his step count was in the stratosphere and he ended up winning the challenge with a 5-day total of 176,727 steps (35,345/day). I don’t know whether he is a runner or walker fanatic, but using my steps/mileage ratio, he clocked in at least 16 miles a day (probably more because his stride might be longer than mine). Kerri was not too shabby with a 5-day total of 143,457 steps (28,691 steps /~13 miles) per day). She was focused on beating Ben up until the end.

Kerri and Ben were so far ahead of the pack that I didn’t compete with them; I just marveled at their statistics. The group itself had a big range of results, but we were all winners as the ten of us totaled 768,205 steps (~350 miles) for the week.

I had a firm lock on 3rd place moving into Friday afternoon. Thus began my favorite part of the challenge. The story is shared in the timeline below:

Fitbit Challenge Timeline

At the end of the day, I lost 3rd place in the Workweek Hustle. No, I won because I got to watch Cherise be a champion. She refused to rest until she clocked 23,000! steps on Friday and rocketed from 4th place to 3rd. One stubborn and competitive lady, that Cherise:-)

I won. I lost. But I won.

Here is a link to Cherise’s video. I don’t know whether you have to be a member of Twitter or a follower of @SweeterCherise to view it, but give it a try. On my laptop and desktop, the link works fine. On my iPad, I have to click the Tweet below the photo and then on the next screen, click on the arrow/TV icon on the upper right of the screen.

One of my next blogposts will be my views on how Fitbit and other step/fitness trackers can be a helpful, fun, and motivating part of your diabetes/general health regimen. That sentence sounds awfully preachy, but I promise (hope!) that the post will be better than that….