One adage I’d love to disprove is that the older you get the longer it takes for your body to heal from an injury. But so far experience has done nothing to persuade me that it isn’t true.
I’ve devoted my summer to not exercising and gaining weight. Not by choice, but because it’s taking forever to recover from back problems caused by my decision in June that this would be a good year to learn to ride an unpredictable, fourteen-hands-tall pony.
Between June and the present, I’ve been using my cat as a source of inspiration for how best to spend my time. You can see the depression left on our couch by my supine body.
Recently, I have felt encouraging signs. A short ride on the traction machine at Group Health gave me a few days of near bliss. Physical therapy has eliminated a need to drag one leg behind as I walk. Still, my challenging exercise routine of yore exists only in memories of fitness past.
This explains, sort of, why I invested in a Fitbit, a black rubber bracelet that uses wireless technology to help you keep track of your steps.
I wanted to test whether Fitbit would encourage a gradual increase in my activity level during my recovery. The first day after I got everything set up — charging the battery, making it sync with my computer and phone, inserting the electronic element into the bracelet — I took a nap. My baseline for that day? Just above zero, a good starting point if you’re looking for progress.
The second day I learned that living in a house with stairs helps my step count without any extra effort. The third day I discovered that I don’t have to go out of my way to accumulate nearly three miles of steps. On day four I’m collecting extra steps by running to check the Fitbit dashboard on my computer every few minutes to see how many more I’ve taken since the last time I looked.
Today my husband and I were rummaging through a cupboard jammed with cables, old cameras and phones. I’m sure that one day I’ll find my Fitbit there. But for now I’m enjoying my new toy and excited to see my step count grow as my back heals.