It was given to me by Telus as part of their #EveryStepCounts campaign (along with a second Fitbit Charge for me to give to one of my readers… more on that later). To be totally honest, I had no real need or want for the device, given that I already possess two perfectly functional (although admittedly, less attractive) pieces of wearable tech.
What did catch my attention was the possibility of winning one of three Samsung Galaxy tablets (thereby making me ‘supermom’ when I gifted my 10-year old son with it on his upcoming birthday). Fifteen bloggers were invited to participate in the campaign, with the three accumulating the most steps over a two-week period claiming the prize. Given that I lead a pretty active lifestyle, I joined in thinking (mistakenly) the whole thing would be a ‘walk in the park’. Fast forward to the end of the challenge and notice my position on the leaderboard;
Sixth place and waaaaaay behind the top walkers (and winners; congrats guys!). While sad that I didn’t win the tablet (and scrambling to come up with another idea for a birthday present), upon reflection I realized that I learned three important lessons from the #EveryStepCounts challenge.
Three things my Fitbit Charge taught me
- I’m a pretty competitive person (for better or for worse). Comparing my progress to the progress of my challengers kept me going on days where I could very easily have chosen to pass on an after dinner walk. For the first week, I hovered around the third place mark, neck in neck with another blogger. Every time I saw her cumulative step count surpass mine, I hustled to get more steps in. Even when this meant passing up mother-daughter time, an evening out with friends or a strength training workout (this is probably the only time in my life where I prioritized cardio over weights…). About half-way through the challenge I realized that obsessing about steps was undermining my every-day approach to health and fitness, hence the 6th place finish (and the DOMS I’m still feeling from my first day back on the strength training floor…).
- I am not nearly as active as I think I am. Given that I teach (and participate in) several group fitness classes each week, hit the gym another 3 or 4 times for my own workouts and am on my feet most of the day with clients and children, I assumed that my activity level would be fairly high. I very quickly discovered that without hitting the treadmill at the gym for a 45 minute walk before I started work AND heading out again in the evening for a neighbourhood stroll, I’d barely make my 10K daily step goal. This realization made me wonder how many steps people who work in more sedentary jobs get in a day. And how on earth the leaders in this challenge were racking up so many steps (I’m thinking treadmill desks?).
- I long to live in a more pedestrian-friendly community. My family lives in suburbia. While I’m grateful for the home and property we’ve been able to purchase, there are no services or amenities a walk-able distance from our home. All three of my children need to be driven to school. The gym where I work, as well as coffee shops, grocery stores and the public library are all 4 km away. The #EveryStepCounts challenge made me realize that I do very little walking other than for the explicit purpose of taking a walk. My husband and I are about 10 years away from our youngest child leaving the nest. We’ve already starting talking about what we’d like our life to be like then. Living closer to amenities, in a more pedestrian-friendly community is top of the list. Someplace where it’s easy to get 10K+ steps a day, just by going about your neighbourly business.
Now for the giveaway.
Telus has generously offered to send one of my Canadian readers (apologies to my US friends) their very own Fitbit Charge.
Enter by telling me, in the comments section at the bottom of the page, how many steps you THINK you get in a day, then completing the Rafflecopter entry form below.
I’ll be closing this giveaway at 12 am PST Monday, February 23rd, 2015. The winner will be notified via email (so make sure you leave one) and will have until 5 pm PST Tuesday, February 24th to respond (otherwise, I’ll choose another winner). Your Fitbit Charge will be shipped directly from Telus, once I’ve handed over your contact info.