Thursday, June 4, 2015
I was at a 50th birthday party a few weekends ago and I was witness to a conversation between a group of 40 somethings who were talking about their Fitbits. I guess they had an ongoing competition, tracked on-line, about who can walk the most steps. Someone was saying that he thought he was going to "win" and that it was ten minutes before midnight and there was no way in hell that the woman he was trying to beat would get enough steps in before the virtual midnight finish line. So he went to bed and when he woke the next morning and saw that, in fact, this woman did beat him he was shocked. I was trying to imagine my non-competitive self heading off to bed and checking my Fitbit to see how far off I was from beating the competition. And if it were pretty close, how I might stand next to my bed, walking in place, lifting my knees high enough for my Fitbit to register my progress toward victory. And then I decided that, no, I probably wouldn't do that.
These new monitoring devices are pretty cool, I guess. My hockey friend just got one to keep track of her heart rate while she plays. She was keeping track of calories burned too, which I was curious about just so that I could sorta guestimate how much ice cream I could eat later on while sitting on the couch. Speaking of sitting on the couch, I've been doing that a lot lately, what with all this amazing hockey on right now. But while I'm doing that, and figuring out how many potato chips really are in a serving, especially if some of them are all crumbled, I'm looking on facebook at all my friends who map their runs and rides. They tell me how far they went, how long it took them, how much energy they used, how many calories they burned and it all just makes me eat more chips. "I don't care how many calories you burned at Jazzercise just now...give me one more chip!"
Numbers numbers everywhere. I think I hate counting things, especially things that go into our mouths, because in college our team had a requirement to eat less than 10 grams of fat per day. I counted every single one of those grams, but made up for it in calories. Bags of Twizzlers? Sure! No fat! Three bagels for breakfast with no-fat cream cheese? Sure! No fat! A whole box of chocolate Snack Well cookies? Sure! NO FAT! It was so stupid! I left so unhealthy, but skinny as a bitch. I hate counting calories. Will NOT do it.
Paul Bunyan and I have been to two band and choral concerts in the last two weeks. We sit in the bleachers of the middle school, suffer through squeaking clarinets until the chorus comes on. I counted in my head....8 more of these things. 8 more. 7 more years before they're all out of the house. 7! 3 more years before Claire is driving.
Calculating grades for school.
The house in MN going, going, gone for THIS amount.
How many churros do we need to make for Spanish class? How many batches is that? How many eggs?
How many bags of concrete do we need for my new outdoor table?
How many school days left till the beach?
How much is it going to cost us to have her spayed?
How many kilowatts will it produce?
How many miles are you biking over all four gaps? Really?
I don't work in numbers, I work in words. I want the world to feel things and not be measured. I want to walk in the woods with the dogs and not worry about how many calories I've burned, how many miles I've covered, how much energy have they and I burned. I want to just be and not keep track. Let's just be.
I'm a shoe tester. A perfect size 7. Shoes come every few months. Mostly Merrill's. It's awesome. I'm supposed to keep track of my hours and miles. I try. I try. I write it down on my phone. I guestimate. Inevitably, I get the response, "You only got 25 miles out of them?" "I don't know, I guess maybe more," I reply, sounding very unprofessional. I probably should buy a Fitbit. Put my stats up on Facebook for the world to see. But I'd rather, personally, have some app that shows number of potato chips inhaled and the time it took me. Wouldn't you all rather track that progress?? Wouldn't it make you feel better about yourselves? See, that's what I'm after.