Batteries do not last forever. They die sooner if you use them a lot, and that’s the case with my Fitbit Zip (a step counter), which I got in May and wore religiously. I tapped the screen many, many times per day as well. The battery died late last week. Consequently, I spent this weekend without my constant companion of the past 4 months.
The experience gave me a few insights.
First, I do take more steps when I have the Fitbit on, but part of this is because of the obsessive side of my personality. I dislike going to bed with some odd number on the counter — like 16,645 — and so I will walk around my house for another 355 steps to make sure I end just over a round number. I’m not sure why this is. I don’t have strange hand washing rituals or anything. I just like to aim for the next clean thousand.
Needless to say, without the Fitbit, there was no night-time pacing. I may have fallen asleep at 16,999 steps, and I’ll never know.
Second, I really like getting “credit” for my activity. I went on an hour-long run on Saturday morning. It didn’t feel great at the beginning (I’ll write more on running while pregnant in a later post) but felt great by the end, so I went a little farther than I otherwise would have. I was happy I’d done the run, but felt somewhat cheated that I didn’t get the satisfaction of seeing that I’d taken 10,000 steps already by 10:15 a.m. I find a lot of inherent satisfaction in running, so I’m somewhat surprised to see how much I crave that external gold star as well.
Third, I use my Fitbit as a clock. That’s not a bad thing. This weekend I used my phone as a clock instead, which meant I was looking at my phone more than I should have (and checking email when I really didn’t need to see it). Looking at my step count and calorie count while I’m checking the time beats seeing some note I forgot to deal with on Friday.
This little break in Fitbit use has given me a chance to ask if it’s a habit I like. I don’t run across 3V CR2025 batteries regularly in my life, and even Amazon Prime didn’t have a great selection, so I won’t get a replacement for a few more days. But I realized, as I was walking many thousands of steps around the York County Fair today, that I do like the nudge to be more active. I do like the nudge to take an extra evening walk or run that additional mile. The suburban world is not set up to require a lot of walking, particularly if you work a mere 50 steps from your bed (as I do). So I re-ordered, and I’m looking forward to welcoming my constant companion back into my life.