A Thousand Mile Markers

mile markerMy marriage almost collapsed during my honeymoon, and it was all because of Mille Bornes. My newly-minted husband and I played a quick game before dinner one evening. He is competitive. I am not. He whupped my ass. I didn’t take it well.

I find competition stressful, not fun. This has always been the case. When I was young, I didn’t play sports and since they don’t hold cage matches for orchestras, I was pretty safe. Now, I still don’t play team sports, and for the most part orchestras are still on the sedate side. I do, however, white-knuckle my way through my son’s games. See? I don’t even like watching other people compete.

The Fitbit has changed everything. For those who haven’t heard of it, the Fitbit is like a pedometer that tracks your activity level. My husband and I both got them for Christmas. You have a dashboard where you can view your progress, and they give you fun little badges as you accrue miles and flights of stairs. It’s great for grade mongers like me who need gold stars.

As a writer, much of my day is sedentary. My break is playing music or reading–not exactly calorie-burners. The Fitbit reminds me that I need to get up and move every so often. Sure, I could go to the gym or run because it’s good for me. Not going to happen. I’ll do it because it’s an easy way to get my 10,000 steps. Running is the optimum choice because our neighborhood has hills–I get credit for both steps and stairs.

The  dashboard not only gives you an overview of your performance, it allows you to connect with friends and see each others’ progress. They say it’s a way to support each other. For some reason, however, it’s not working that way for me. I’m determined to best my husband. Life is good as long as I’m ahead.

He went skiing last week. I was doing a clean food detox. He was all over the place. I was huddled with the cats on the sofa. When he got home he kept taunting me. “I’m 2000 steps ahead. Oh look! Now I’m 3500 steps ahead!”

I wasn’t amused. “You were eating protein and carbohydrates,” I countered.

“Yes, but I was at elevation. It’s more difficult. You know elevation? Oh right, you stayed horizontal the whole weekend.”

It was so on.

Friday, while ironing, I made myself run each shirt upstairs individually, and I was disappointed that we had to do so many squats in weight class. They don’t trigger the Fitbit to register a step. For a class that makes me sweat so much, it should be worth more. No dice. I was still behind. So yesterday, I ran in the cold. Normally, I don’t even leave the house if it’s below 30 degrees out. I put on long underwear and did a chilly, four-mile trek. Take that.

My husband was more than a little amused. “What happened to my non-competitive wife?” he asked. “Want to play some Mille Bornes?”

“Go right ahead. Say whatever you want,” I told him. He can laugh all he wants–I’m 12,226 steps ahead.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph by Mike McCollough © 2008 Creative Commons

5 comments on “A Thousand Mile Markers

  1. I’m not sure Fitbit would find your posts “promotional.” I’m beginning to think of it as an evil “home and career wrecker” disguised as a heath tool. 🙂

    But strangely, your posts make me want one. LOL

  2. I’m much the same as you and prefer to compete against myself. I have a sneaking suspicion that Fitbit would affect me much the same way if competition were against family. One daughter has toned incredibly, and both of my daughters have lost weight over the past year while I’ve been more sedentary than usual. Back to the workouts for me — they CAN’T win this one!! (And they didn’t even know it was a competition!)

  3. Rachel says:

    Wow, I hadn’t thought about Mille Bornes in a long time. I don’t remember that game being particularly “competitive”. Your husband must have a real competitive streak. Or maybe my memory is failing me. Or maybe both!

  4. Lanette says:

    This is so funny! I am like you…fiercely competitive, but ONLY when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!! LOL Mostly I can hardly bare people who are so competitive that they make everyone else playing the game miserable…and Mille Bornes is a fairly fun game UNTIL….yeah, I played with one of THOSE people….and I wanted to beat him SOOO badly….(I more than just that game, as I recall!) LOLOL
    I love to be a “good loser” and a good hearted, surprised winner….so fierce competition usually makes me choose to NOT participate. But every once isn awhile…You Just Got To WIN!
    Hearts to you,

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