So I think by now you know I’m pretty obsessed with my Xiaomi bracelet. It’s a fitness bracelet ala Fitbit, but made my a Chinese brand that I love. (The fitbit is $88 the Xiaomi one is $10 and works better.) It tracks your steps, and your sleep as well. I also bought the xiaomi scale and it attaches to the app and keeps everything in one place so you can see your progress. I’m a total xiaomi nerd.
Anyway, one of my favorite features is that it has a “goal.” You can set it for anything, but it defaults at 10,000 steps a day, the recommended number for a healthy life. Everyday you meet the goal it congratulates you, and if you meet your goal day after day then it begins to add up the numbers. For instance, the longest I had gone was 56 days in a row before I got sick and stayed home in bed all day.
I am super psyched that today was my 100 days of walking at least 10,000 steps a day. Continually. That’s more than three months of everyday getting out and walking. And not only that, but I blow away the 10,000 and am averaging more than 16,000 steps a day.
It’s partially because of badminton. I play three days a week and get 10,000 within the two hours. It’s also partially because of class. I teach in a new classroom which is a twenty minute walk from my place. My friend has offered me to use his bike so I can get there quicker, but I haven’t done it. I like the walk, even if it means I have to leave early. The two days a week I have class there, I get 10,000 steps before lunch. And when I have class and badminton I average 20,000+ steps.
The day that is hardest for me is Fridays. Mon-Thurs I have class and/or badminton. On the weekends I do hiking, Frisbee, general fun stuff that gets me out and about. But Friday I’m worn out and tired from the week, have no class or badminton and if I do go out then it is later at night usually just for dinner or whatever. So I have to force myself to get dressed around lunch and go out and do something (food shopping is a good one,) just to get at least halfway to my goal. If I get at least 5,000 by early afternoon I can make it by night. But that’s the most dangerous day.
Also, the good news is I haven’t been sick in a long time! Almost. Last week I got sick while playing badminton. Shivers, muscle ache, skin sensitivity. I had already hit my goal for that day, but the next day I had resolved myself to just stay home, sleep, get over being sick.
But my mom was in China visiting, and it was her last day, so I managed to drag myself out of my house to meet her for dinner. After dinner I went to Walmart and by the time I headed home I was past the 5,000 mark.
Now, I wasn’t feeling better. But you see, I was the 95th day. If I didn’t hit my daily goal, I would start over at day zero. And it was day ninety-friggin-five!! So I bribed myself.
My throat hurt, ice cream would sooth it and there was a McDonald’s in the opposite direction from my house. So I told myself to get ice cream at McDonald’s and take the long way home. It worked. I hit 10,000 by the time I got home. Then I crashed into bed exhausted but felt better the next day.
Other sacrifices I’ve made are showing up to places late because I got off the bus three stops early to walk, taking the long way to places, and even walking around the block while waiting for friends to show up just to meet my goal.
And to me, that’s the real value of these bracelets: the consistency. My friends say that if I can so “easily” meet this goal then I should up the goal to make it more of a challenge (to say, 15,000 or 20,000 steps). But to me that defeats the purpose. I am not a “run harder, jump higher” person. I don’t care if more people walk more than me. In fact, with all my super sporty and active friends I fully expect it. Pushing myself to the breaking point everyday holds no appeal for me.
Cause I’m a slow and steady kinda girl. I’m not the best but I’ll keep showing up. My consistency in steps reflects that the clearest, but I think I take this attitude into everything. I have most of my friends not because I’m so awesome or interesting, but because I just kept calling them, or showing up at things they were doing and eventually they got used to me. I wrote a book not because I was inspired and passionate everyday, just because I sat down and wrote. Having this walking goal everyday, and keeping it consecutive, is a way for me to get past my lazy tendencies and get dressed and go out even on those days when I don’t want to.
So of course I want to keep this record up, and see how long I can keep it going. If I make it to 120 days, that will be one-third of a year. And if I make it to 120, then 150 is just around the corner, and then 200 and so on. At some point I’ll break, be stuck on a plane all day, hurt my leg, get a serious flu. And I hope I won’t beat myself up about it too much.
But until that day, I’ll keep walking.