Sheila Quairney: “Me And My Fitbit”

This time last year, I lived in a happy bubble. I believed I was an active person who slept
the recommended 8 hours a night and burned a respectable number of calories every day.
I now know better. The painful truth of my sluggish, piggish, insomniac lifestyle is revealed
relentlessly to me every waking minute.

And the reason? I have bought a Fitbit. And I am its slave.

The device almost never leaves my wrist. It is my constant companion, closer to me than
my partner.

The communication is remorseless. It’s always sending me messages – sometimes
positive, sometimes gently admonitory.

Such as: “Well done! You’ve walked the length of the London Underground”, or:
“Congratulations! You’ve climbed the height of the Eiffel Tower”. I feel an absurd sense of
achievement and award myself a double chocolate Tim Tam with my coffee.

Or more sinisterly: “You haven’t moved in the past hour. Get on with it!” So I rush down
Cruikshank Street and out onto Lagoon Pier and back – phew! Another 3000 steps
clocked up for the day.

It knows my every move and how many calories I’ve burned off – but luckily in these days
of the waist-expanding Covid diet, not how many I have consumed.

It’s the first thing I consult when I wake up. The Fitbit’s assessment of my night’s sleep can
plunge me into gloom, or catapult me into gleeful smugness.

Oh no! I thought I had a good night’s sleep – but alas, I only scored a Fair, and was
apparently awake for 1 hour 13 minutes in the night. I am distraught and immediately start
to feel exhausted.

Or – I feel really groggy – but lo! I had 58 minutes deep sleep and was rated Good! And
got a star! I should feel refreshed….I’m starting to feel better already. Especially when my
partner finds out that yet again, he’s slept 3 minutes longer than me and only got rated Fair
(that’s life, I tell him smugly).

I reluctantly tear it off my wrist to plunge into the shower, then quickly strap it on again,
anxious to have every move recorded. I wait until I’m slumped in front of the TV or laptop
to recharge it so that it won’t miss anything.

Only 9000 steps and it’s nearly 10 pm? Quick, run up those stairs a few times again to
reach the magic 10,000 step total. But oh dear! that’s raised my resting heart beat to
dangerous levels. Time to sit down again and do some calming deep breathing.

And the joy of the exploding rocket throbbing gently on my wrist as I reach that magic five
figure number…….ecstasy. I glow with pride, knowing that it’s happy with me and I can
rest easy for the rest of the day. Until it all starts again at midnight.

Truly, you’re never alone with a Fitbit.

Major Award – Port Phillip Writes 2020

How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

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The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

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