I’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:
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….
This is awesome!
I’m an on again off again Fitbit addict. It’s amazing how motivating it is, even when I’m not in a contest! But sometimes when I don’t have it on I do things like taking the most convenient parking spot (instead of a steppier, more remote one) because meh, who cares if I’m not getting credit. Ha!
I’m the same way, Katy. I can’t stand when I go half a day and find my Fitbit sitting on my bedside table. Or with my Zip, the battery would fail and I’d lose credit.
I do love a good “trash talk.” Alanna goes aaaaaaall in and scares me a little bit.
I’ll have to watch out for Alanna!
This entire post makes me smile. Thanks for sharing.
Stephen, can I nominate Cherise for an Athlete with Diabetes medal for her championship performance on Friday? I’ll send you an email.
For readers who don’t know about these medals, check out Stephen’s blog at: http://happy-medium.net/calling-all-athletes-with-diabetes-heres-your-award/
This is an amazing post! I love the trash talk and team work-we cheered each other on until the very last minute. I’m still in shock and my feet hurt, but it felt great. I’m looking forward to challenging you again, but please don’t play golf…you will crush me:)
The Fitbit Flex has been the best purchase to help with my diabetes, I know I would forget my Lantus shot without my daily alarm! 🙂 Also very helpful for my daughter’s Lantus shot (mine is at 9 AM and hers is at 9 PM). I recommend it for everyone who is on MDI or any regular medication that is time-sensitive.
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I love these challenges but you are wearing me out!!! LOL Just kidding. Keep pushing me – I sure could use it.
I love my new lime green Fitbit Zip. I wear it every single day, and try to get 10,000 steps in. It’s easier done on days I don’t work, but lately I’ve been walking at work during my lunch. My daughter just got her magenta Zip. And I now have you as my Fitbit Friend!
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