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Making the most of a productive birthday gift

Thanks to a birthday gift from my son, my list of excuses for not exercising has been shortened so severely

Treena Mielke


Thanks to a birthday gift from my son, my list of excuses for not exercising has been shortened so severely it’s hardly even worth having a list.

He got me one of those Fitbits.

A Fitbit tracks your steps and has the amazing ability to track a whole lot of other stuff about you.

It can track the calories you eat, the calories you burn, your sleep, your heart rate and how many times you smile during the day.

Actually, it doesn’t track your number of smiles, but I’m sure that’s coming.

Of course, the trick is to figure out how to set it up, otherwise the thing is useless and will sit forever in its box, a wealth of untapped possibilities.

Mine had actually set in its box for several days. I kept moving it to a different spot on the kitchen counter, picking it up, turning it over, looking at it thoughtfully and then putting it back with a sigh of defeat.

I had no idea how to set it up, and I wasn’t sure I even wanted to.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know about the Fitbit and what it could do.

My son had also got his sister one for her birthday, and she immediately began to sing its praises.

“That Fitbit is amazing,” she told me, a few weeks later. “I’m in better shape than I ever was.”

I look at her over my skinny latte. A skinny latte is what I drink when I’m with my kids because that’s what they always order. I always just say, “same,” to the person behind the counter, although I’m never too sure what a skinny latte really is.

It’s just that ordering black coffee seems so ridiculously old fashioned when I’m with my adult children. Ordering a skinny latte seems younger somehow!

Anyway, my husband, who was oblivious to the fact that I was not sure the Fitbit and I belonged together, asked me if I wanted to sync it with my iPad or my iPhone.

“Neither,” I muttered under my breath.

But of course he ignored me. Selective hearing!

And before I knew it, it was all set up, the little grey bracelet attached to my wrist and I was good to go.

My daughter and her family came for supper last night and I proudly showed them my wrist.

“You’re wearing it, Mom,” said my daughter. “Good for you! How many steps have you done so far?”

“Seventeen,” I said with brutal honesty.

Her drink almost spurted out of her nose as she burst into a helpless gale of laughter.

Actually, much to my surprise, by the end of the night I had bumped up those steps considerably. After all, I never left the kitchen, except to get the broom and dustpan from the hall closet.

But now my Fitbit and I are into day two of a cozy little relationship.

It’s tracking me as I sit in front of the computer taking absolutely no steps whatsoever.

Zero steps!

But that is about to change. I am almost finished this column and I can go for a walk.

A long walk!

Oh dear, I was afraid this would happen!

Treena Mielke is editor of the Rimbey Review, a sister publication of the Sylvan Lake News.