Tag Archives: athlete

Dance Flower! Dance!

Fitbit Alta HR

Now and then, in a quest to keep thing fresh and moving forward, I like to try something new.  To that end, I got a Fitbit Alta HR a few weeks ago.  I thought it might be nice to have a way to track my steps each day.  The Fitbit researchers decided, upon the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control, to start everyone on a 10,000 step per day goal.  I’ve since moved mine up to a 12,000 step a day goal which better suits my needs.  I walk the dogs every morning so that takes care of a lot of the requirement but then I find times during the day to walk to make up the difference.

Besides walking each day I also row using a rowing machine and lift weights.  The tracker allows me to add distance (for the rowing) and time to my overall activity minutes but those activities don’t count toward my step goal.  So in addition to my 12,000 step a day minimum I can also keep track of other activities like lifting, running, playing tennis, jumping rope etc.

I figured I would get some benefit out of having the Fitbit but it turns out it’s provided great motivation for me.  One of the clock faces you can choose from, has a flower on it.  When you’re not very active, for instance if you’re sitting at a desk working on a paper, the flower is short with just one a bud.  If you start moving around, the flower will grow taller, sprout more leaves, bloom and finally dance.  Oh my goodness, the things I’ve done to get that flower to dance!

One day I was waiting for a friend at the hospital and although I had my 12,000 steps for the day, my poor flower was just a sad looking little thing.  I went to a quiet corner and started marching in place (that counts for walking…and if you lift your knees high, is an excellent exercise).  Now, that was an odd thing to be doing, alone in a hallway and sure enough a nurse caught me as she came out of a stairwell next to where I was happily marching.  I stopped and just looked at her.  She said “Oh, you’re trying to get your steps, right?” Then she showed me the Fitbit she was wearing, the strap of which happened to be color coordinated with her scrubs.  We had a good laugh.  She went about her business and I kept on marching until that flower danced!


I’ve got the Fitbit set so that it will give me friendly reminders to move when I’ve been still too long.  That’s a handy tool, since most of the time, I can get up and do a quick few steps.  If I can’t, it thankfully won’t bug me but the awareness that I’ve been sedentary for a significant period of time is a good little nudge to move around a little bit.

I’d say the Fitbit was an excellent purchase and I don’t even use most of it’s capability.  I don’t care to track my sleep, use the calorie counter or connect with other people for fitness challenges.  This particular model of Fitbit is very slim and unobtrusive and will track your heart rate. 


Because it’s so slim, I think this model is marketed primarily toward women. I know there are Fitbits with wider bands that will fit a man’s wrist well.

It came with a black strap but if you go on Amazon you can order generic brand straps in a rainbow of colors to fit it.  They’re quite inexpensive.  I got a large assortment for a very reasonable price.   I even got one in leopard print.  Naturally, since I got all the colors, I find myself wearing the black strap every day.


The straps come in every color you can imagine and there are lots of patterned straps too. They’re easy to switch out.

If you find yourself lacking in motivation and bored with your traditional way of tracking  your workouts, you might want to consider getting a Fitbit.  It just may provide a fun and amusing way to encourage you.


Rub Some Dirt On It

broken elbow

Well, this ends his lacrosse season! He’s got a temporary splint but will get a cast tomorrow.

Last Friday my youngest son, who is 13, got into the car when I went to pick him up from school and announced that he broke his elbow.  He said he was playing with friends and ended up tripping over one of them when they went down in a “chase” type game.  He’d flown through the air and landed on his elbow in the gravel.

I took a good look at it, asked him to move it around and then told him it was just a bruise and that it would be fine.  He seemed to accept that for a while but that afternoon, now and then, as he was going about his business pretty much as usual, he’d pipe up and say “It’s broken.”  I assured him it wasn’t and laughingly told him to rub some dirt on it.  He responded that since I’d never broken anything, I wouldn’t know how it feels.

We went to a Ducks Unlimited event that night…an auction to raise money for our wetlands.  We ate and socialized.  At one point I saw him with my phone researching the WebMD site.  He looked at me and affirmed that his elbow was broken because “even WebMD said so.  When we got home, I told him we’d go get it checked out in the morning since I wanted to prove my point. He bet me a trip to a local hamburger joint that he was right.

The next morning arrived and off we went.  It WAS broken!  Not just a little but one of the bones had a nice sized fracture all the way through it from one side to the other.  Apparently, according to the doctor, the little knobby part had almost broken off completely.  Great!

My son who is very good natured just looked at me and said “You owe me a burger” so off we went.  He ate a burger and fries for lunch.  I ate crow!

Little Miss Impatient

There were times my mom called me Little Miss Impatient when I was a child.  It’s true, I wasn’t that good at waiting although I got much better as I grew up.  Nevertheless, when I start a new rotation in my exercise plan, I want quick results!  I started one of Jim Stoppani’s plans and I’m now on week 7.  I do see some changes in my physique.  I’m tighter, significantly stronger, the striations in my chest are showing more prominently and my muscles are starting to appear more full.  BUT NOT FULL ENOUGH!

Yes, I’ll admit I’m impatient when waiting for results…but I also know I’m not the only one!




Choppy Seas

I’ve been a bit unmoored the past couple of weeks. I found out that my friend, who I was keeping company on his way to a bodybuilding competition in November wasn’t going to be able to compete after all because of a work commitment. I had been having fun on my quest to see what my physique would look like on that November day if I tried to get competition ready (even if I wasn’t really going to step on stage). I didn’t feel the same commitment knowing that my friend was delaying his debut under the lights until next year. For a while I wasn’t sure what to do with myself since I felt exactly like a balloon with the air let out. I kept working out and eating reasonably but my enthusiasm was most definitely on low.


I decided to do what I always do when I’m not sure what goal to pursue. I decided to concentrate my workouts on the body parts I get the most pleasure out of seeing improve. I’ve recently focused my attention on workouts designed to improve biceps, triceps and shoulders. I will keep that as my primary goal for the next little while and I do have a good reason (besides just liking working on biceps, triceps and shoulders) to put quality effort into it. I have to post a birthday photo in November.

Due to advanced age my birthday cakes are starting to look like this!

Due to advanced age my birthday cakes are starting to look like this!

Yes, it’s almost that time again. I’ve made it a point to post a birthday photo documenting the state of my physique each of the past 6 years. I don’t want to see a side by side comparison of where I was last year compared to this year and be disappointed in my effort/results. That’s plenty of motivation for me!

Sometimes gym goals are interrupted and you have to change course. That’s OK, you just adjust and keep moving forward. I always wish for smooth sailing but when I get blown off course, I know I can still end up in a good place.  I just remind myself that…



%d bloggers like this: