I remember when Boris and I both got Fitbit watches. We were both so excited for this new “thing” that everyone was doing and we had fun competing with each other. We went on a trip to New York and we got like 18,000 steps one day, which was very exciting. After a year or so, the excitement died down a bit, but we still mostly wore our watches. In the months before Boris’s death, I was still actively tracking my steps, trying to make sure I hit 7,000 steps a day, but hoping for 10,000.
For some reason, one of the most vivid memories I have of the hours after Boris died is going into my bathroom and changing my clothes, and taking off my Fitbit. I remember putting it in a drawer and thinking about how stupid and pointless it was–who the hell cares about how many steps I have taken!? I angrily snatched it off of my arm. I remember looking at it several times in the weeks and months after Boris died. I didn’t care about much of anything, especially not my stupid step goals. I found it to be annoying and pointless. I ended up leaving it in my desk drawer for months and then eventually, years. In fact, it still sits in my drawer with Boris’s. I don’t really know if I will ever get rid of them. But I know I do not want to wear mine ever again. For some reason, it became a pain point for me. A reminder of him, but also a reminder of the night he died and the deep grief I experienced.
But, after 3.5 years, it is weird how things shift. Last night, I ordered an Apple Watch. I have been thinking about getting one for a few months, and finally made the purchase since Target was having a good sale on the Series 3. And, my main purpose for ordering the watch is so I can track my activity. For almost a year, I have been consistently doing dance fitness workouts on YouTube (highly recommend The Fitness Marshall for the most fun workout I have ever done). Full disclosure, I have gained a significant amount of weight since Boris died (plus, pandemic weight of course). My old clothes don’t fit and for a while, I did not feel good in my body. Dance, strength, and stretch workouts, and walking when the weather is nice have helped me feel stronger and more myself. And honestly, it has been incredible for my anxiety and depression. I have not really lost any weight, much to my disappointment, but I know that my habit is healthy and has benefits beyond what number I see on a scale. Even though I didn’t think I would ever get to this point, I will admit I am excited to use my Apple Watch to help me track my activity goals.
It feels kind of weird and maybe even shallow to write about my journey with grief related to wearable fitness trackers, but I know there are people out there who will “get” it. There are just certain things that remind us of our person or that we connect to their death that has some sort of hold on us. That Fitbit was one of them for me. Seeing it in the drawer occasionally always makes me pause. I still feel a sting.
But, I feel ready to try something new. Turn a new page, I guess. It isn’t the same. It’s new and different. And, I feel good about it.