At high school, I spent every sports period in the library, writing stories about small-town girls who ran off with French philosophers (you needed an active imagination in 1970s Toowoomba). My daughter once asked me what sport I’d played at school; I was completely baffled.
“Girls didn’t play sport in my day,” I explained to her. “We were too busy smoking and getting a tan. Exercise was for boys.”
I was wrong, of course. I now know that unless I want to buy a new wardrobe every season, I have to get up off the sofa and move. For a few years I could blame the kids, but that excuse is wearing a bit thin. Now that my younger child is leaving primary school, it’s definitely not “baby weight.”
I’m just a natural slob.
Finally, after putting my back out by rolling over in bed, I was forced to join a gym. In the first week of classes, I pulled all my abdominal muscles doing a “burpee”, a kind of air-borne frog jump. When I shuffled into the doctor the next day, icepack on my stomach, he looked bemused.
“You’ve injured yourself just by raising your arms,” he said. “That’s incredible.”
Fast forward a few years and several costly gym memberships, and I’ve arrived at the Fitbit. For those who’ve been living under a rock, it’s a small black piece of rubber that wraps around your wrist and synchs with your iPhone or computer.
You can program it to do a few things, including tracking your sleep patterns. I don’t need a device to tell me that my nights involve a trip to the bathroom, getting up to let the cat in and dreams about losing the children.
But the best function is the one which records your steps and tells you when you get to a certain number.