Life proceeds differently when we’re keeping score, don’t you think?

In grade school, where many valuable life-lessons are learned, I was one of the last kids picked for sports. I didn’t lack enthusiasm, but coordination eluded me—still does.

Game playing was big in our house right up until my parents were gone (Clue and Uno Attack being our favorites). Dad didn’t always play when we were kids, but Mom did—and she played with a vengeance. We weren’t allowed to cheat and she didn’t let us win. It was real. If we won, she celebrated and if she won, we celebrated. She won so often that when we won, we were ecstatic and merciless in our glee as only kids can be. We learned to compete, but not at the cost of being a good person.

Did these things combine to make me the non-competitive person I think I am? Probably.

But I want to kick the rear ends of niece, Seester and cousin in our fitBit Work Week and Weekend Warrior Challenges. Oh yeah, do I ever!

Thanks to childhood lessons, I don’t mind (too much) when they beat me and I happily cheer them on.

But when I win, I do the Snoopy happy dance. “YES,” I say, “I won! I slaughtered my opponents and hit my goal! Yippee!”

It’s about the keeping score. I’ve been tracking my daily steps/miles since Seester and I got pedometers during my Run-Away from life the winter of 2010.

I’d record my stats every few days. Then I’d shrug and keep on with whatever I had planned.

Now that I’ve had this fitbit Charge HR on my wrist for two months, I’m a data maniac. I once did loops throughout the house at nine in the evening because I was a mere 300 steps away from 10,000 steps and I couldn’t stand it! Another day, I was despondent because despite 45 minutes on the elliptical (not all fitbits accurately record steps on ellipticals), we had torrential rains and there was no getting a walk in. Low steps.

fitbit dashboard

fitbit dashboard – running 7 day stats

We’ve compared notes. When we check the scoreboard and see that we’re lagging in second place, we jump up, get outside and take one more walk. I know that our cul-de-sacs get me 1,400 steps, but if I add on one street, I soar over 2,114—which equals one mile. Woot! It’s not that we want our relatives to lose, but boy do we want to win!

For us three over 55-year-olds, we’re having fun and feeling better. I fit jeans I ignored this summer because they were too snug. With a Hawaii trip pending in the winter, this makes me a tad happier about putting on a swimsuit. Seester and cousin have their own reports to make on how this rubber band is changing the way they feel. It’s not that the technology motivates us—it’s the camaraderie, the connection, and definitely the competition.

Here are some details on the Charge HR version:

1. Mine is purple. Who can go wrong there?

2. It’s a watch—I haven’t worn one since college—I like it.

It's a Watch, It's a fitbit

It’s a Watch, It’s a fitbit


3. I’m learning to understand heart rates.

4. Although I don’t always log food, it tracks calories burned which makes me conscious about what I’m eating.

5. The sleep tracker data can be a little scary at first, so read about it first. I thrash in my sleep. Sometimes I wake up while flipping side to side and sometimes I don’t. The morning I wrote this, it told me I was fully awake once (correct), but that I was restless 36 minutes/21 times. Not so much. I slept great and woke up rested. Take it as a guide, but don’t be alarmed unless the data supports how you feel.

6. It tracks specific workouts/periods of activities. Press the button on the side, do what you’re doing and it shows up on your dashboard. (Make sure you press it when done.) You can edit these activities to record specifics: elliptical, hike, strength training.

7. You can track your weight and your BMI.

8. It tracks steps, miles, active minutes, and floors.

At this time I only have four fitbit negatives:

  • There are two green lights on the backside of the display. I like the bedroom to be pitch black for sleeping—every gizmo light is covered. These lights make me bonkers being on and flickering. Yes, I am a weirdo.
  • I find it irritating that the Charge HR will not count elliptical steps. Seester’s Flex does. We got an elliptical rather than a treadmill because of the above information: I am not coordinated. An elliptical keeps my feet stationary, which is a huge bonus in me not falling off. The only way I found to record steps is to tuck the fitbit into the waistband of my workout pants. Warning: if you do this, make sure it’s secure. Mine has fallen out twice.
  • The battery goes from full day one to half-empty for three days and without any warning it’s empty.
  • And that fourth thing? As much as I like this motivating me to move, I really, really hate wearing rubber on my wrist.