Friday, March 4, 2016

Six-Month Anniversary with a 24/7 Fitness Companion -- Plus a Major Milestone (or Stepstone?)


Dear Miss Vivo:

Six months ago, I wrote of our first close encounter.

 "It was all very innocent," I wrote, "for you are, after all, a 49th wedding anniversary present from my Darling Wife Allyne -- but our first night together went well, shocking as that might sound.

"It was only hours before that we had connected, and totally synchronized, and I shared with you a lot of my personal information. I did not receive yours in exchange, but I suppose you have a journal you will be sharing. . . ."

"Vivo, it is going to be wonderful for you to be my wife-approved companion 24/7, but because I work so much on the computer to supplement my retirement income, it is going to take some getting used to when you squawk and wave red flags in front of me every time (about every hour) you think I have been inactive too long.

"The first time you did that, I walked to the kitchen and ate a cookie. I am pretty sure that's not what you had in mind, because you have hinted that I could benefit from losing a few pounds. (Actually, more than a few -- and you haven't just hinted; you've given me a whole chart of projected losses.)

"Look, maybe you could program in a celery-and-carrots app for me, and toss the cookies and chips.

"Yesterday afternoon, I did better when you beckoned. I grabbed my walking stick and trekked around the yard several times, stopping to feed the birds, water the plants, and refresh the birdbath. That turned off the inactivity alerts.

"I think we will have happy times, Vivo, as we count steps we take together and calories I burn and even the quality of my sleep. Do we need to add one of those monitors that strap around my chest so you can listen to my heart, too? Or do you just know that my heart is true without requiring electronic verification?

"Because of all you are going to do for my fitness, I think I will just call you Vivofit2 by Garmin. If would be even more wonderful if some day a Sadiedawg2 came along to join us on walks long and short during the day."

That was back in September. Now for the latest news:

Vivofit has awarded me a Badge for taking One Million Steps so far. Wow! You receive a badge for each 100,000 steps taken, but a cool one million steps is hard to fathom. It sounds improbable; however, the moral is that if you just stepping out, one foot after another, your activity does add up.

The second big piece of news (already reported extensively here) is that I do have a new walking companion as of January -- Miss Ellie Mae, Superdawg 2, a sweet rescue dog who seems to be a mx between a retriever and a Carolina coonhound. Her baying at the squirrels and cats we encounter is really quite cute -- the racket she sometimes makes at the sight of other dogs being walked -- not quite so cute. But tolerable. She will probably become more accustomed to life outside a shelter.

Ellie wants a full walk twice a day, so she has contributed in a major way to the million-step milestone. I had been averaging around 6,000 steps per day the first few months, but now it's more like 8,000, 9,000 or more. And I have lost 9 pounds. When I make it to minus-20, that will be something else to celebrate.

So thank you Ellie and thank you Vivofit. You help keep this Carolina curmudgeon on the trail with his trusty walking stick.

                               © Robert G. Holland  2016

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