Wise words indeed from Grace Jones in her 1985 world-wide hit “Slave to the Rhythm”

The funny thing is, if you’ve got an A’ level in Computer Science (luckily I have), or a child aged 3 or above (sadly I don’t) you can sync your iTunes library to your Fitbit activity tracker and low and behold on your Wednesday lunchtime run, (DKA gives us two hours so we have time to shower and eat too!) everything fits into place when Ms Jones pipes up with this little belter from back in the day.

A smirk appeared as I pounded the far too familiar canal towpath near our studio at the irony of “Never stop the action!” for fear of a low weekly score from my Fitbit. “Keep it up! Keep it up!” Will Becky Cook who is often to be found running at my side (or Am I at hers) beat me in the weekly Fitbit stats.

Grace fades slightly for my Fitbit to kindly tell me how quickly I’ve completed the last kilometre, my total run-time and how many calories I’ve burned through. It’s completely possible I’m in biscuit deficit and Grace is back at full volume. “Slave to the Rhythm”.

Becky and I have synched our Fitbits to each other, to our playlists, to twitter, to the world because we’re slaves to something! Our other running pals David Yeates and Nigel Locker have their activity trackers on their smart phones and we compare the difference between them as we run.

Four beautifully clipped well enunciated voices relay the same data at slightly different times from our pockets or armbands as we run and then at the end, our split times and total distance are announced. Then it all goes onto Twitter with its own hashtag and we celebrate our personal and team victories.

Back in 1985 Grace was on a cassette in a cutting edge red Sony Walkman permanently attached to my (probably white) belt and she wouldn’t have had a clue about the perils of running without anti pronation souls in her running shoes. She was and probably still is a far more interesting soul sister!

I guess we logged our activity on in a Letts pocket diary with a pencil or just didn’t care. We weren’t such slaves to it back then!

Snapping back to the present, a gentle reminder like a bee stuck in my shirt cuff alerts me to the fact that I’ve completed the required 10,000 steps for the day, I do a quick check on how many flights of stairs I’ve climbed and a Total Daily Distance and Calories Burned completes the ritual to which I’ve become a slave.

My Fitbit has become like a little pet to which I must give attention to. When I wake up I tell it I’m awake and it tells me how I’ve slept. When I finish in the gym I tell it I’ve worked out and on what. When I climb it knows how many calories I’ve burned. When I play netball it falls off and someone shouts “Fitbit down” and we all stop so I can re-attach it and once a week it tells me if I’ve “beaten” Becky or not. More often than not she’s beaten me on steps alone but she is only in her mid-twenties and walks four dogs every-day!

I’m happily a slave to my Fitbit: charging it; feeding it with data and letting it rule my day and it rewards me with little prompts and badges when I’ve done well … a little fit bit going a long way to me being a little bit fit.

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