My Pedometer should come with a Sisyphus Warning
Recently I made a commitment to improving my health through diet (gag) and exercise (ouch). Unexpectedly, I have become a FitBit pedometer addict and there is no 12 Step Program (pun intended) to alleviate my suffering. I must reach my 10,000 steps a day.
- I obsessively check my stats all day long.
- I have sniffed out every co-worker with a FitBit wristband and I send them pedometer challenges.
- I take advantage of every opportunity to gain another step. I have resorted to walking in circles while waiting for elevators, pacing at the bus station, and parking my car far away from my destination. Strangers must think I’m a crazy person but it’s all FitBit’s fault.
On Friday, I reached the goal of walking 25,000 steps in a single day. It was a pivotal moment and I should have felt euphoria but part of me realized that as soon as I closed my eyes for the night, I would wake up with the score of ZERO. Every day, no matter how far I reached, I would always start the next day over at ZERO. I am suffering from a Sisyphus complex.
Because my wristband can be a cruel at the stroke of midnight, I decided to shift my definition of what it means to be a successful walker. Now I want to create memories associated with those significant statistics. I must get off the treadmill and step outside into life.
I decided to try to conquer my Sisyphus complex by literally climbing an actual mountain. This past Sunday I survived my first hike in the Colombia Gorge with my friend Nicole. It was amazing to go with an experienced hiker and just enjoy the views. But after many hours, I had only reached 17,000 steps, nowhere near my weekend goal. Sisyphus urged me to go on but my legs of Jell-O were done. I had one of the most enjoyable walking days (as seen by my photos below) and yet my FitBit mocks me.
I had an epiphany on the drive home. The habits I exhibit with my Fitbit obsession are the same tendencies I deploy with my writing:
- I obsessively check my daily word counts.
- I have a strong social group of writers who encourage each other to make time for writing.
- I go to every conference and workshop I can afford in order to learn the latest writing technique and publishing gossip.
Yet, once again, when I’m done writing a story, I have to start over with a blank page and a ZERO word count. To me, it always comes back to ZERO. Does anyone else feel like Sisyphus is your sidekick? How do you keep pushing the rock up the mountain?