Let me start off by saying (again) all I want to do is walk. Well, walk and get credit, so to speak, for walking. In other words, I just want to measure my distance per walk and see how far I’ve gone and set goals about how far I want to go. That’s all. In order to do this, I need a device to measure my distance. Seems simple enough, or so I thought. But nothing is really that simple, right?
It started with my iPhone. When I upgraded to an iPhone 6 (my tendency to be cheap and deliberately be a step behind will play into the outcome of this story) I received a handy pedometer with Apple Health. However, it takes 10 minutes to update. I could be done with a walk in ten minutes or I could need some more steps. I needed something a bit more real time. So, I downloaded Pacer onto my phone.
However, measuring steps with my phone meant I had to carry my phone all the time. If I wanted my steps counted in, shall we say, a quicker manner, I had to position my phone just so in my pocket. If my pants didn’t have a pocket that meant I had to carry my phone. I invested in one of those arm carriers but could never get it to stay positioned on my arm and ended up going back to the pocket.
My friend received and Apple Watch for Christmas showed me its bells and whistles. To borrow the words of Tamatoa in Moana, it was so “shiny.” It seemed like I absolutely needed one of those shiny little toys for health’s sake, of course. All it took was seeing the price on an Apple Watch to make my tongue almost slide down my throat. That tends to happen when I feel something is reaching into my pocket and pulling out all my hard earned money. So, that was a no on the Apple Watch. But what about these Fit Bits I’ve heard about? They probably are just as nice as any old Apple Watch, is what I told myself repeatedly.
I did my research. By research I mean I looked on Amazon for Fit Bit. Sorted by price. Found a good deal on one that I was willing to pay the money asked for and ordered it.
As I waited for my Amazon package to arrive I imagined with every step I took how much better it was going to be. I’d get a more accurate reading of my daily mileage (I don’t measure steps I measure actual distance). For some reason, I convinced myself that my phone was not picking up all my steps and having something on my wrist would obviously mean my walks would be shorter and more accurate. I became giddy thinking how short my walks were going to be.
Then my package arrived. There were signs from the get go, before I even gave it its first charge that something wasn’t quite right with my new Fit Bit. For starters, the directions said to sync my phone with the JYouPro. Nowhere did it say Fit Bit. I tried charging it and it took it a couple of tries. The way the bracelet fit in the charger was backwards. When I flipped it over it barely stayed in and I had to gingerly plug it into the wall to get it to stay. But that’s the way it needs to charge. I read the directions and they were obviously translated into English from some other language. The first time I reached 10,000 steps this flashed on my screen.
So, it took a couple of days and talking to other people for me to realize this was not, in fact, a Fit Bit. This was a cheap knock-off. It was something my parents used to do that drove me crazy. We couldn’t afford name brands so they would get me the cheaper, not quite version of something. I remember a certain Chemistry set that only conducted lame experiments. Don’t get me wrong, as an adult I totally get why they gave me the cheap knockoffs. I understand. As a kid though, I did not. Now here I was, an adult, and I just became my parents. This was a classic mom and pop purchase.
Once I realized my blunder, I wanted to check the accuracy. I kept my phone in my right pocket and my not-quite-Fit Bit on my left wrist. At the end of a walk, I compare numbers. Since I leave the not-quite-Fit Bit on 24/7 (except to charge every other day) my anticipation is that my counter on it will hit goal first because of the head start. Not so, my friends. My phone counter catches up and sometimes passes my phone.
In the end, I now have three counters. None match. I feel the need to achieve goal on not one, not two, but all three. In short, I think I might have made life a tad more difficult on myself. All because of this not-quite Fit Bit that did not live up to my vision of it. How rude.
I can understand why my not-quite-Fit Bit measured on my wrist doesn’t match the distance on my phone in the pocket. But why don’t the two both measured on my phone – the same device – match? There is no winning here, folks.
Another troubling thing, sometimes my heart rate flatlines. Is that an acceptable reason to call into work? “My not-quite-Fit Bit can’t find a pulse so I don’t think I can come into work today.” I’ll let you know how that turns out.