Wednesday, December 3, 2014

UP up and away (almost)

The fitness band bandwagon got me on Oct. 21, the first day I donned an UP band to start tracking my steps, sleep, food, weight and exercise.

I picked this particular band from the many, many fitness bands out there because I liked the look of it. That was pretty much the extend of my research. Looking back, I might have selected the Garmin vivosmart, which looks almost as cool but also does more stuff and connects to the same system as my Garmin Forerunner 110 watch, but alas, here I am with the UP by Jawbone, getting buzzed when I sit to long and feeling guilty on the days when I don't walk 10,000 steps. 

Last night, a remarkably normal Tuesday, I lost my UP. Sometime after yoga class, maybe during dinner at Manuel's with friends or on the subsequent dark, rainy dog walk through the upper parking lot of Seacliff State Beach, the band vanished. I didn't notice it was gone — or how addicted I'd become to the device — until we had walked home from the restaurant and gone for yet another dog walk in the storm. There, I tore apart the house, checking my gloves and rain jacket in case it had slipped off my bird-like wrist. 

Using the UP app and the big brother-esque GPS tracking feature of the band, I tried to locate my UP. The app pinpointed the device a half-mile away in a residential area we had not walked through, so I assumed someone had found my demure black band and taken it home. It was after 11 and still raining — not the appropriate time to go knocking on doors — but I decided to take a quick spin through the neighborhood to retrace at least some of my steps. 

Every wet leaf, pile of animal excrement and stray twig looked like an UP band in the dark. For a moment, I thought I found it in our backyard, but that was a salamander. When a sheriff's deputy started slowly cruising behind me, I realized my actions were both suspicious (hood up, black jacket, peering around trash cans and near fences) and likely fruitless, so I went home. No band was found. 

The stages of grief came quickly then. I talked myself out of the need for this particular fitness band while appreciating what UP had taught me: 
  • I (and most people) sit too long and don't drink enough water when I'm at work. Setting a reminder to get up, move and drink a glass of water has helped me develop healthier habits when I'm at the office.
  • I'm not interested in logging my food intake. Just not. Oh well. 
  • I could stand to sleep more and better. I go to bed kind of late and wake up a couple of times a night.
  • Taking 10,000 steps (an arbitrary goal I set for myself) doesn't happen on a normal workday. Going for a run, a long dog walk, out dancing or walking my work errands is necessary to crack the 10K barrier.
Just as I was prepared to let go of monitoring myself, I discovered my UP — on my dresser, right where I set it to change after yoga before dinner. Whoops. So all I really learned was the UP app's GPS tracking can be quite off.

Ironically, I didn't get any credit for the steps I took searching for the band (or going to dinner, or walking dogs). So yesterday I logged less than 10,000 steps, again. The band is back on my wrist today and it will probably remain there, at least until the next time I lose it. 

What are you searching for?

"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."