Watch Your Step!

Tom's shoes, walkingI observe people wearing their Fitbit bands and silently smirk. Who needs to count their steps, for heaven’s sake?

Just walk, run, dance, skip, jump….MOVE.

But when my daughter asks me what I want for my birthday, I point to the beautiful Fitbit-like bracelet she wears on her wrist. It’s a thin elegant gold band with a large moonstone in the center and a tiny crystal on either side.

counting steps, walking, RinglyHidden inside is a secret – in some mysterious way, the bracelet connects to your cell phone, and reports your steps, mileage, and calories burned.

So, I’m pleasantly surprised when I open a gift from my family and there, nestled inside a beautiful box, sits my very own moonstone bracelet. Part of the gift includes my daughter connecting it to my phone and setting my goal at 10,000 steps a day.

Easy peasy, I think with a chuckle.

walking, counting stepsAt the end of the next day, I check my stats.

I expect to see that I’ve reached my goal and beyond.

7,120 steps.

WHAT?

The following day, I attend my dance class and climb up and down my stairs repeatedly, for no reason.

8,244 steps.

Damn.

The third day, while waiting in the doctor’s office for my annual physical, I prance and pace around the tiny examining bed, hoping against hope that now, finally, I’ll increase my count.

No dice.

Today, waiting for my Earl Gray tea latte at the local café, I dance in place while waiting in line for five minutes.

Yes, of course I receive a lot of worried looks from other customers. I ignore them.walking, counting steps

I then walk for five miles.

Finally, I reach 11,322 steps. But I expected at least 12,000, right?

I hate this bracelet.

But I still place it on my wrist before I sip my first sip of green tea every morning, and I don’t take it off until I climb into bed at the end of the day. I’m going to reach my goal and beat this thing if it kills me.

FLASH: I’ve just had a moment of inspiration. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Writebit that counted every word we wrote each day?

I’d easily get 1,000.

Maybe.

Wouldn’t I?

116 thoughts on “Watch Your Step!

  1. You have me laughing this morning. I know those bracelets but have kindly resisted happy suggestions from my kids. 😊 .
    Alternatively, you have to stop striding and take many small steps.
    🚶‍♀️🏃‍♀️. or just go with the flow 🎶🍸.

    • You are funny! Actually, sometimes I walk with a friend who is 7 inches shorter than me. We walk the same distance, but she gets quite a number of more steps on her fit bit! That is just not fair! 😜

    • I’d like to invent one, Darlene, but I’m not that “inventive.” I am envisioning the write fit as a ring that, as it moves when you use a pen or use your fingers on a laptop, it counts your words. Pretty cool idea anyway! ✍️

  2. I like your bracelet way more than that ubiquitous Fitbit.
    I developed a hate-on for my Fitbit when I realized it stubbornly refused to acknowledge the time I spent on my bike. When I spend 3+ hours on a bike, like I did yesterday, I want credit for it, dammit!

    • And you SHOUD get credit for all that time on your bike, Joanne! I do know of some friends who put their fitbit somewhere on the wheel-don’t know how they do that without it getting stuck-and they get a high count that way. I think that’s cheating though. 😶

  3. Oh, I know the tyranny of the FitBit and the frustration – and guilt – at failing to walk those magical 10,000 steps! Mine can also monitor my sleep patterns which I find kind of creepy.

    • I definitely need another pair of walking shoes, Carrie! I think that’s a good sign-but why doesn’t my Ringly fitbit agree? 🤔 I have a feeling that if I could invent a Writebit, I’d have just the same anxiety…

  4. I’ve just ordered my second one – just like your daughter’s 😀 I’d like to say the first one died because of over use …. but it got fried in the sun as I was lazing on a lounger.
    Its all about finding balance 💛

    • Oh-thank you for the Saturday morning laugh. Yes-my grandson told me that my bracelet shone brightly in the sun. I was not walking-I was lounging around the pool. 😉 I think we should get some kind of credit for that, don’t you? Namaste.

  5. We just finally got new bikes for the spin room at my gym. The new bikes have monitors that tell you how many RPMs you’re doing, what gear, how many miles, etc. I was so dismayed to find I hadn’t been working as hard as I thought I have been all these years. I was dying trying to keep up yesterday! 🙂

    I don’t need a Writebit–I have deadlines. 🙂

    Good luck with the fitbit. Yours is quite elegant.

  6. Pam, send this off to the patent office right away – WriteBit it is!! 😀 What a stylish, elegant gift from your family!! You did great to get over 10,000!! My son bought me a Wii fit metre when they were new out and like you, I was convinced I easily surpassed the 10,000 steps! As if! In the end, it became addictive, a battle between me and the metre…(I lost mostly) although the odds improved once I decided I could carry over extra steps! Now, as to writing 1,000 words a day…easy (well, I hope, perhaps not…where’s my tea!). Pam, have a fantastic active weekend and belated Happy Birthday to you!! 🎉🎈❤️

    • Really? We can carry over steps from the day before? My problem is I don’t have enough steps to carry over! I have always considered myself a good walker, but this bracelet has changed my perception of myself. You are totally right-it’s a battle. Or at least until my walking shoes wear out. Now let me think some more about inventing this Writebit… 🤔✍️💥

    • I know, Arlene. There must be someone, somewhere, coming up with a Writefit. I have no doubt! I’m envisioning it as a ring that moves with their typing or writing hand…

  7. Haha! It’s so easy to have a love/hate relationship with these things. I don’t have one, but sometimes I use my phone to check my steps and I’m always disappointed in the number because I’m usually checking my steps on days when I’m really moving! Oh well. Great post!

    • Smart move on your part, methinks ( to only really check on your step count when you are really moving around a lot!) . I walk with a friend who measures her steps on her phone. The only problem is she makes us stop during our walk every 15 minutes or so to check on it! I think this kind of cancels out the point of measuring steps … 😵

  8. When I think of counting steps my poor husband comes to mind. He couldn’t seem to get it to 10,000 steps either. Until… we found ourselves in Venice during a transportation strike! That night he had over 20,000 steps and has stopped counting them ever since.

    • Well, walking 20,000 steps-even if in Venice-can definitely stop us from counting how many steps we walk, Barbara! Yes, sometimes I think of our ancestors a century ago, who probably walked over 20,000 steps every day as they worked to survive…

  9. Thanks for the laugh this morning! I have a love/hate relationship with my Fitbit too! And due to my neuropathy, I have had to lower my goals, and lower my goals and guess what? Lower my goals again! Until my grandkids got here, I wasn’t reaching them! But now, when the fireworks go off, almost every day, I give myself a Yay! And sometimes I post it on FB so I can get Yays from my friends. Of course, they don’t know that my number is nowhere near the recommended 10K. I am not telling! 😀

    Have a wonderful weekend, Pam!

    Sharon

    • And I’m not telling anyone either, Sharon. I think we all should lower our expectations a bit-and in that way be a bit happier and kinder to ourselves at the end of every day…🙏😏

  10. Your story made me laugh, Pam. I like to say that sometimes I own a Fitbit and sometimes it owns me. I have to confess that I do love checking my progress, though, and if I think I might not make 10K steps I move a little more toward the end of the day to make those steps. And if that gets me to move more in this often-sedentary career I’ve chosen, then it’s a good thing.

    That being said, your beautiful bracelet is far more elegant and lovely than the bendy plastic thing I wear on my wrist.

    I do keep my own version of a WriteBit–it’s a production calendar and I log how many words I write each day in each of my WIPs. It keeps me writing!

    Have a wonderful day.

    • Oh, you are inspiring me in your own way of having a Writebit, Amy! I should do that. I really should… 😳
      And you described it exactly right-this walking bracelet owns me more than I own it! I do try to leave my writing chair and walk around the room a few times every 15 minutes or so. 🚶🏻‍♀️👣

  11. So your bracelet – that tiny little thing – owns you! Not sure I could handle the disappointment each night when I find I’d only take 1,000 steps. It would drive me nuts. How long do you think you can do this? A friend of mine tore his off after two weeks! Loved this- made me laugh!

    • Oh my gosh-I am laughing also. Counting steps only lasted two weeks for your friend? I have lasted three months, and I have been diligent about charging the tiny powerful bracelet every night. Perhaps I just like torturing myself at the end of every day… 🤔

  12. I really like the idea of a WriteBit. Not sure how I’d feel about a FitBit. I might feel as if I had the enemy strapped to my arm. But maybe they’re a good thing. I don’t know…. Yet another gadget….

  13. My daughter got me a Fitbit, which I thought was interesting because I am a lazy person whose interests require sitting. I also tried for that ubiquitous 10,000 steps early on. Gave that up as a bad idea. Tried the stationary bike – as someone before me said, that’s not recognized! Fine then, I just won’t do it anymore. I’ll show that Fitbit!

  14. It’s a nice gift especially if you have been craving for it…thanks for bringing along and disseminating some smiles!
    I am a free bird now and don’t want any monitoring on my walking or flying… 🙂

    • I think you have the better idea, Balroop. Stay free as a bird and unencumbered. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird wearing a Fitbit…! 😊

  15. I’m certain you are taking more steps than your Fitbit suggests. I read somewhere that Fitbits like to mess with people who drink Earl Gray Tea Lattes. Fitbits believe that people who drink Earl Gray Tea Lattes deserve to be messed with. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way things are. If you drank normal tea or normal coffee, this nonsense wouldn’t be happening.

  16. I need one of those. It would shame me daily and I’d hate it, but awareness of how much time I spend on my butt would probably induce some effort on my behalf. 😀 Good for you for reaching your goal! I’m inspired, Pam!

    • Over the weekend, I pat myself on the back with my 11,000 step count. But during the week. Oh my. Yes, my little bracelet does remind me to get off my writing butt every once and a while and at least dance in place. That’s good for, um, 50 steps anyway. ;-0

    • Oh, Patricia, how true. I used to “be like Henry David Thoreau” and just smell the roses and count the bird calls. Now I’m counting my walking steps and ohhhh, yes, becoming very competitive. A new side of myself I never knew I had. I think I better tamp it down, or at least ‘stomp’ it out. But wait, I need 200 more steps. Off I go…. 🙂

  17. I got the fitbit for the sleep monitoring function and not the steps so much. However, I do get pretty happy when I reach my step goal. I also like it when it tells me to get up and move.

    • Walking and writing simultaneously would help me be so much more productive during the day, Sue. I wouldn’t feel guilty for not writing while I’m walking, and I wouldn’t feel guilty for not walking while I’m writing. I’m going to work on that….

  18. Well done on breaking that 10,000 mark Pamela You’ll soon swing into a routine. Please don’t create the one for writing. I’ll never be able to hold my head up again.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • I know what you mean, David. If I get frustrated with my lack of walking steps, think how I’d feel when my word count is hundreds less than I planned each day. It might even make me get – gasp – writer’s block! I think you’re right, I’ll just stick to counting my steps…
      Thanks for ‘stepping up’ and sharing my writing angst on Twitter. You’re a sweetheart. humungousxoxoxohug

  19. I’m all for goals! But I’m hard enough on myself. I don’t think I need any additional nano-nags telling me what to do all day. (Reminds me of those Giga-pets from yesteryear where, if you didn’t keep up with digitally walking, petting, feeding, medicating them, etc. — they DIED. And this was for kids!)

  20. Haha 😉 It sounds a bit like your FitBit is taunting you.. challenging you to beat your own personal best.. As for the writing goal, I think we hold ourselves accountable when we know we’re neglecting to reach our quota (guilt hangs over my own head here…)

    • Ohhh, I’m quite certain that my Fitbit is taunting me. And I think it’s lying to me too. I should have 9,000 steps recorded after my exercise class today, and it’s showing half that amount. I think there’s a wizard behind the curtain, one with an evil laugh…

  21. It is a trap! That gorgeous looking bracelet is a bitch!! Haha. The solution is pretty simple Pamela, just divide your goal by half of what it is now and you will meet the goal easily and start loving the ex bitch bracelet which will become your friend.

    Moonstones by the way are from Sri Lanka.

    Peta

    • Awwwww, perhaps that is why I love the moonstone so much. It reminds me of the land where you live. (And perhaps that moonstone is what is preventing me for ditching the bitchy bracelet…) Ha. But yes, I think your advice may be sound. Halve the goal and celebrate happily every day.

    • P.S. I just looked up more info on the Moonstone: The name “moonstone” was coined by the ancient Greeks to describe gemstones that displayed the moon’s ethereal silvery light. They valued the moonstone as a talisman for lovers. To wear it was thought to arouse the most tender of passions and true love. It was also believed that wearing the stone conveyed knowledge of future events, and could guide a person in making important decisions. The Romans thought Moonstone to be formed out of moonlight as well and to be the stone of sensitivity and love. In India today, moonstone is considered to be sacred and magical. It is thought to be a “Dream Stone”, bringing about sweet and beautiful dreams. In the Far East moonstone is said to balance yin and yang and promote greater flexibility and flow with life.
      In Gemology, Moonstone is the name given to the member of a feldspar group of gemstones. The finest and most abundant sources are in Burma, Sri Lanka and India. Moonstone’s body color can range from colorless to white, gray, brown, yellow, orange, green, or peach. The sheen effect is caused by the intergrowth of two different types of feldspar with different refractive indexes: These intergrowths result from compatible chemistries at high temperatures becoming incompatible at lower temperatures and thus a separating and layering of these two phases when the stone cools down during its genesis. The resulting shiller effect is caused by a ray of light entering a layer and being refracted back and forth by deeper layers before leaving the crystal. This refracted ray has a different character than the incident one and this produces the moonlike glow.

  22. Your moonstone fitbit sounds gorgeous, Pam. I want a matching one too! Though I don’t think mine would have to count so high. Happy (belated) birthday. I hope you celebrated well. A writebit sounds like a great idea!

      • 5000 steps sounds more achievable to me. I probably do that many in a week. 🙂 Remember – before fitbits there were pedometers. I wore one in the classroom, years ago, thinking that with all the walking around and around the classroom, and around and around the playground I did, I would easily accomplish 10000. It counted less than 3000. Must have been faulty! 🙂

    • Ohhh, Victoria. I think you are absolutely right. A Fitbit is bad enough, but I take my writing words even more seriously than my walking steps. Let’s make a pact to not do that to ourselves. My Writebit patent is now ‘off the table.’ 🙂

  23. I don’t have a Fitbit but I do have a health app on my iPhone that records steps only. That means the wild movements I make in Pilates class don’t count. And heaven forbid if I forget to put it in my pocket. Then I’m a zero!

    No WriteBit for me either. But I get that you love to inspire – and create a buzz as you so successfuly did here. Write on!

    • I’m amazed at the response from others regarding the Fitbit, as well as the idea of a Writebit, Miriam. You’re right, I’ve touched on a nerve – or should I say on a few walking toes? We writers in particular need to sit for our craft, but we need to keep our bodies in shape too. Pilates, as well as yoga, is a great way to exercise, and yet our Fitbits (or apps) don’t count that work out. Someone has GOT to do something about this. :-0

      P.S. You’re never a zero. In my book, you’re a 10,000…! xo

  24. Please sign me up for a ‘Write-Bit’ too!
    PS – I would have loved to see you dancing in line at your local Starbucks. That is so cool!

    • The barista and cash register clerk get a ‘kick’ out of my dancing steps. My daughter, if she’s in line with me? Not so much. 🙂
      You’re on my list for the Writebit, as soon as I invent it, patent it, and get it manufactured. That may be by year….2100. Haha.

  25. I’m not a Fitbit person … but my wife and I walk a lot … and I rely on her pedometer. She aims for a 10K minimum each day. Because I frequently walk with her, I judge myself on her count. We also walk a lot on vacation! …. and we frequently ballroom dance. 🙂

    • Wow. I’m impressed with your wife’s 10K minimum. However, I’m afraid you probably don’t reach that same count, even when you walk with her. The Fitbits, anyway, go by height and weight. The taller you are, and the heavier, the less your steps count. Not fair, is it? ;-0
      That said, who cares? You two are so active and agile. Walking together is the best way to glow together. Ballroom dancing is icing on top of your cake.

    • My brother told me about business clients who got very competitive with each other (and to be fair to them, their firm promised a bonus to the one with the most steps). One morning, one of the guys came in with the count of 40,000 steps! He thought he won, until they figured out that he’d put his Fitbit — yup — on his ceiling fan.

  26. I loved this Pam. Lol, I was envisioning you dancing while waiting for your latte. No doubt there were some strange looks but good on you! Yes! Run and patent the ‘writebit’! 🙂

    • The older I get, the more strange looks I receive. But ya know what? I love ’em. Means I’m thinking (or dancing) outside the “box.” 🙂 Now… I better get going on my Writebit patent. I think I’ve found a way to fund my writing career. Haha.

  27. Hurrah for 10,000 steps! Daughter has one and she loves it. I hinted to Husband for one for Christmas but will try again. Now a writebit I would buy for myself. Keep up the good work and keep dancing!

    • If you need me to send an anonymous letter (or photo of a Ringly), to your husband, just let me know. 🙂 I think you’ll love it . . . if you don’t smash it to smithereens because it doesn’t count ALL THOSE steps you’ve taken.

      In the meantime, I think we both should keep on kickin’ up our heels and dancing.

  28. Good gawd… I got a cramp in my index scrolling down to leave my comment! 😉
    You are hilarious! I know the feeling. Though I don’t have a fitbit, I do use my cellphone which is pretty friggen accurate step-wise. I go for long walks with my dog Zeke, expecting at least 12,000 steps. Nope. My walks are long because I take my camera and stop at every “wow”!

    Then I started working as a waitress. Well… lemme tell you… a SHORT shift means 10,000 steps. Actually, when I show my pedometre results, you can distinctly see exactly when I work: 19,359, 9,487 (only 3 hours), 928, 13,033, 11,316, 21,841… 😉

    • Thanks for doing the ‘scroll’ to put in your two cents (or two counts…). 🙂 Yes, a lot of people have something to say about their steps, don’t they? I watch waiters/waitresses and see how much they’re on their feet. They should be given Fitbits when they begin employment, and then a bonus when they go over 15,000 steps a day!
      My daughter is a school teacher AND a mother of three. She reaches 10,000 steps before morning is over. Sigh. I’m a slacker….

  29. I love the fact that this cheeky ‘will not be tricked, thought steps don’t count’ little step counter is disguised as an elegant pretty little bracelet. Couldn’t it shine, or sing, or vibrate or something every 1000 steps to encourage the wearer? I also LOVE your idea of a word counter – indeed, you must invent one! Now, 1000 a day – yes, easy! Do morning pages count? What about signing things? And when I fill out the menu board at word? Oh, and editing? Poems are short you see…873?! Dang! Great post dear Pam. Keep us updated! Love and blessings, Harula xxx

  30. I have a fitbit but I stopped wearing it after about a month. I couldn’t get it to sync to my phone anymore which was annoying. So I used that as an excuse. Then I bought my hubby one for Father’s Day. He LOVED it and was using it with mastering skill. He tracked his exercise and food and walks around the house every hour to get his steps in. Then yesterday.. guess what! It stopped syncing with his phone. He is still walking around because his FitBit Blaze tracks his steps but his phone doesn’t. He is annoyed but I think he will stick with it. I give up easier I suppose… :-/

  31. I have walked round and round the sofa while my husband watched tv on some nights prior to bed…just to get 10,000 steps. He says I’m a lunatic. I say I’m a healthy lunatic.

  32. 10,000 steps is not an easy deal, is it. We think we’re more active than we are so that’s why I start each day with a long walk. But even with a 3-5 mile walk, we have to stay active throughout the day. Not an easy gig..:)
    Congratulations!….Keep it up.

  33. Indeed, similar to another blogger I read recently. She recounted how she found herself, late at night, walking frantically around the kitchen ‘like a nut-job’. Since ditching the fitbit she’s regained her sanity.

  34. Ha! I too have been known to pointlessly walk up the stairs to increase my steps. Worse still if I forget to put my fitbit on and walk downstairs I then have to go and get it, and walk downstairs twice more to make up for the time I missed!

    That being said, I do hit 10k fairly regularly as I have an active job. But I don’t tend to reach my milestone in the samw way you see on all the adverts!

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