Everybody Was Fitbit Fighting (Part 3)



Those cats are no longer fast as lightning.  I am sad to report that my Fitbit died on Monday, April 7, 2014, at approximately 2:19pm.  The cause of death is still under investigation. 

I can honestly write that so far as I can tell, I did not knowingly contribute to my Fitbit’s death.  That is to say, scrolling through the Fitbit FAQs and Fitbit Community Health Forums, I didn’t kill my Fitbit.  Or at least not via means foretold by the company that makes and sells Fitbits, nor via any means admitted to by unwitting (former) Fitbit owners.  As an aside, I am struggling to get past Fitbit, Inc.’s use of “Forums” rather than “Fora.”  There is evidently a movement afoot (afeet?) to adopt “forums” as a proper plural alternative to the traditional “fora.”  I’m OK with movements afeet (afoot?), so I will let this slide.

Anyhow, perusing these online channels, I’ve inventoried the Fitbit murderers’ and manslaughterers’ confessions:  Death by washing machine. Death by passing through a pet dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Death by unintentional backyard burial in backyard garden. Death by rubber car tire crushing “accident.”  

I have no such confessions to offer.  I remain nonplussed.  So far as I can tell, fairly wracking my brain, I didn’t do anything other than use my Fitbit Flex as it was intended to be used.

And therein lies the problem.  I think I may have worked my Fitbit to death.  In my well-documented overzealousness and hyper-competitiveness, I neglected to ensure that my Fitbit Flex had fully bought in to my “victory above all else” campaign.  I took my Fitbit for granted.  Over the last few months, I have suffered through blisters on my feet, salt rings on my biking shorts, mini-rivers of sweat trickling in my eyes from my bike helmet, holes in the soles of my neoprene swimming booties from the home-to-Marina Green steps walks, a half-dozen curious harbor seals and sea lions, and a bonk or two.  But ultimately, I am more or less in complete control of all of these to-be-expected maladies.  Cost of doing business. 

Alas, it was all just too much for the little black plastic strap on my wrist and it’s pea pod accelerometer.  And I think I know exactly where my little buddy bought the farm.  For the first time in a long time, I swam in San Francisco Bay on two consecutive mornings.  This is typically to be avoided, particularly during Little League season, which generally entails a throbbing right shoulder for a 5-month period.  And rather than leave the Fitbit at home, I had gotten into the habit of bringing it along for the ride, er, swim.  I assuaged my inner “this is probably not a good idea” thoughts with Fitbit, Inc.’s boast that the “[d]evice is water-resistent, and can be submerged up to 10 meters.” For good measure, I also sealed my Fitbit in a sort of neoprene cocoon, covering it up tightly under my wetsuit sleeve.  Perhaps “neoprene casket” would be a more appropriate term, in retrospect.

That second consecutive swim proved too much to take.  Even though I just did a simple half-hour crawl at the water’s surface, rather than swimming like a frog submerged 30-feet under, the Fitbit’s little imaginary heart gave out.  I’m sorry, little Fitbit imaginary heart.  I didn’t know.  RIP.

And now I’ve had to endure 36 hours of movement data blackout.  Sure, I’ve continued to run, swim, walk and ride.  I managed to pull myself together and carry on.  But my Fitbit is long since gone, lifeless.  No matter how many times I’ve forcefully pecked a forefinger on it’s little noggin, hoping for a miracle.  Some sign of life.  Nothing.  I might as well have watched TV from the couch, fist buried in a bag of Cheetos, slurping Cherry Coke after Cherry Coke.  My sweating the last few days has fallen in the woods, completely silent, completely, gasp, unrecorded. 

Re-reading the last few sentences, this is starting to sound a bit creepy, overly-obsessive.  I’m a man, after all, skin and bones, and bow down to no machine!  Maybe my Fitbit’s death by overexertion is the best thing that has ever happened to me!  I’m free!!! 

Or at least free for another 72 hours — until Fitbit, Inc. finishes processing my warranty claim. 🙂 

Thanks for reading.

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