Well, I ask you, exactly what good is a pedometer that does not actually measure all of your steps? I’ll get back to that because as it turns out, being useless was not its only shortcoming.
I’ve never owned a pager. Just before the dawn of cell phones the general consensus in my world was that only “drug dealers and doctors” carried beepers. In my youth I took offense to this because the nurses I knew carried them as well. This has become ironic as I’ve aged for two reasons: first, as a nurse I’ve never had to take ‘call’ myself, and second, as nurses reign supreme over almost all drugs passed in any hospital, they were pretty much included to begin with. Anyway, I had to get used to wearing a little rider. My jockey as I came to think of it. That’s right, I’m the horse.
The problem at first was remembering I was wearing it at all; hence the ridiculous number of resets in the first few days. It also flew off my pants every time I went to the bathroom. Thankfully it never found its way into the toilet. Although I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had jumped to its death out of pure shame.
Then the problem became being all too aware I was wearing it and further being afraid of accidentally touching it. It was kind of like wearing a gun on a holster (which I’ve never done) only if you touch the gun the wrong way, or at all, really, it shoots you in the foot. I’d get into the car and forget to take the jockey off before sliding in; only to remember as my hip hit the seat belt receptor. Then I’d quickly try to scoot away and check it frantically for the inevitable reset. My kids were starting to think I was going nuts.
Having the thing start over all day had me feeling like Sisyphus. My only real option around this little design flaw was to try to look at it constantly and keep a running total in my head so that if the next reset happened, I would have saved at least the last known number of steps to add to the new puny total. That’s right, I was keeping count of the steps in my head. So, again, why was a wearing a freaking pedometer?
Finally, there was the ticking. I fluctuated between trying to hear the ticking to make sure the jockey was functioning to wishing I wasn’t ticking whenever I walked anywhere. It was like real life Mickey Mousing.
Honestly though, even the realization that my jockey was useless is not what ultimately got me to stop wearing it. No, what got me to permanently put my jockey out to pasture was a car accident I was involved in this weekend. Saturday afternoon I ran into a guard rail and then my sister’s minivan that was holding two of my three children as well as one of hers. My third child was with me. We were all on our way to her daughter’s dance recital. All of us are okay, by the way. See what happened was, she stopped and I didn’t.
The instant after I found out my family was safe; well, I had an emotional breakdown on the side of the highway. Then my sister tactfully said, “Heather, we are all okay. And my daughter is dancing in about 5 minutes.” The thing about having a breakdown, is you have to have time for things like that and we parents just don’t.
So I got back in my car and before I pulled away, looked around to make sure none of my things were damaged. I first noticed my camera. It is one of my prized possessions, a gift from my hubs. It had been flung forward, but it seemed to be in tact. The next thing I noticed was the little jockey, sitting in my cupholder, undamaged and no doubt reset. And I thought, now out of all the things I could have broken today, why couldn’t it have been that P.O.S.? Well, sometimes it takes moments like these to figure out what is really important in life. Lesson learned: you shouldn’t get a free ride if you aren’t willing to work.
But those of you who are walking too, or who were thinking about one day considering it, don’t let my tales of woe discourage you. Yes, a free pedometer may detract from your life in some ways. However, I don’t believe it will cause you to run into a guard rail and your sister’s minivan per se. Also, a bought pedometer might prove to get you over that hump just enough to remove all doubt that it might cause traffic accidents.
I don’t want to make any promises, however, as I haven’t bought one yet. But I’m going to. People, the goal here is still to get down to overweight by the end of the summer. And if I have to spring 15 bucks for the equipment to do so, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make. For all of us. And for research.
Although, if I hit my sister’s minivan again; even if I do have reasonable evidence that having a pedometer (of any sort) in the car is to blame, I don’t think my brother-in-law (I would have used BIL as is my general practice, but as his name is actually Jeremy, I thought that might be confusing) would be as likely to forgive me the second time.