Family: Smart bracelet not so smart after all?

With winter rearing its ugly head and roaring ferociously and acting like January probably because it is January some of us are finding it really hard to focus on getting out, getting active and staying in shape.

I’m definitely in that group.

I don’t want to. I don’t want to get out, get active and stay in shape, or, for that matter, get in shape.

But, everything and everyone, including the little voice in my head, tells me that is not good.

And so, even as I settle down to watch Netflix carrying a generous bowl of popcorn and a Diet Coke with me to the couch, I feel somewhat guilty. Obviously, however, I have managed to get past that guilt fairly easily, because I notice I am guilty of repeat behaviour.

My husband, bless his generous, kind soul, even bought me this thing for Christmas that I can wear around my wrist so I can measure my level of fitness.

I sighed when I opened the package, feigning enthusiasm.

“Thanks, I love it,” I said, pasting a bright smile on my face.

It’s called a smart bracelet.

A smart bracelet records your steps, your heart rate and how well you sleep.

I showed it to my neighbour and she remarked, “you guys are so techie.”

“Yeah,” I replied, nonchalantly, not bothering to tell her it took me several weeks to figure out the smart bracelet is attached to my phone. I remember I kept taping the smart bracelet with my finger thinking the thing would light up or do whatever it was supposed to do and actually live up to its name.

“Dumb bracelet,” I would mutter.

Finally, I figured out how to use it and, just as I suspected, I didn’t like what it told me.

I definitely needed to get moving.

I remember my neighbor and I, one fine day last summer when we were sitting on my deck enjoying the Alberta sunshine and indulging in a glass of wine or two, promised each other that next winter we would join the ranks of the fit and healthy.

We would walk. We would run. We would swim. Okay, we would do at least one of those things.

The thought stirred us to action.

We had another drink and congratulated ourselves.

But now next winter has arrived. In fact, we are in the middle of it.

My deck, once a warm and inviting haven, is covered with snow and ice and even the birds look rather forlorn as they peck furiously, looking for food, in their feeder that is, more often than not, covered with a layer of white.

But a promise is a promise.

And so reality finds the two of us getting together at 6 a.m. every morning (okay, I lied) getting together on most mornings and heading to the walking track.

We drive, of course. After all, it’s winter.

The track is lovely and warm and very safe. It has, in fact, all the conveniences of walking without freezing one’s derriere off and still getting all the benefits. Steps. Exercise. Ditto.

The only problem is getting there.

For me, the longest distance is not from my house to the walking track, but from my bed to the floor. It’s like there is a magnet attached to my mattress.

But, when all is said and done I’m so very grateful that I have a neighbor that is willing to walk with me and laugh with me at 6 a.m. when both of us are, no doubt, thinking longingly of other places we’d rather be like back in bed.

And I’m grateful that I am, in fact, healthy enough to enjoy a walking track (did I say enjoy?) What I meant was I’m grateful that I have no physical reason why I can’t actually drag my sorry self out of bed and get my runners on and get moving.

Some people are not fortunate enough to be able to do that.

And I am grateful for the smart bracelet that has turned out to kind of like a silent voice of authority telling me to get up, get out and get moving.

And quit with the whining.

And just be grateful that I can!

I probably needed that!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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