28 January 2015

Dude, where's my flex?

Shamelessly stealing the meme from terri...

I was going to post a follow up to last weekend's run, but that seemed a bit redundant. Instead, I chose to regale you with my latest saga/drama.   

Over the past few years, the company has been aggressively promoting healthy living.  We have an onsite workout room, hired a trainer to teach various classes (zumba, latin dancing, boot camp, etc.), hold regular contests to encourage wellness (winner gets their insurance premiums paid for a year), and other activities to improve the health of the employees.  Two years ago, they handed out FitBits to everyone - one of those a neat little electronic wearable monitors that tracks your activities/steps you take.  FitBit is one of several in the field (Nike Fuel) and is fairly accurate and simple to use.   It wireless and will sync to your cell phone or laptop so that you can track your progress on line and send you progress reports or alerts on your status.  

Initially, I got a FitBit Zip - a small monitor about the size of a key fob that you year on your belt.  It's the low end version of monitors and I've worn it pretty religiously since last year.  It was nice to keep track of my activities/mileage.  It alerted me when I achieved any of the set goals (10k steps) and posted up progress to my FitBit account online.  They even have FitBit communities that you can join to track progress with others in your group.  The company has a good number of people on our account that we complete for the most active persons over a period of time.  I wore my Zip during last year's half marathon and it worked great.  I even bought a pair of FitBit Flexes (the wrist version) for my son and DIL for their anniversary last year and they love them.

Sadly, I lost my Zip back in November.  Had it on my belt when I went out for some shopping but it fell off somewhere along the way.  I liked the Zip enough to buy another but decided to upgrade to the Flex.  I even bought one for momma for Christmas so we all had one.  I waited until Christmas to start wearing mine and have been using it ever since.    

The Flex is different from the Zip - it is rechargeable and has little monitor lights that show you when you have completed part of your goals.  It is an upgraded version to the flex with a few more bells and whistles.  It will vibrate and flash when you hit your target and constantly syncs with your smartphone and provide updates as you run/work out to track you progress.  I wore it during my recent half marathon and it worked just great.  There is even a Map My Run app that will track your route and location (big brother is really watching). 

While I like the new Flex, it does have a few drawbacks.  I'm not really a fan of the rechargeable deal - the Zip ran off a watch battery that you replaced every 3-4 months.  The Flex you have to recharge every 5-6 days.  The wristband has a clasp that is prone to becoming dislodged if you put on a long sleeve shirt or jacket.  In the short two months I've had the Flex, it has fallen off 4-5 times.  

Saturday I was out running some miscellaneous chores (the vet, the gas station, Wallyworld, the trailer, the auto store) around town.  When I got back to the house, I noticed that my flex was missing.  Panicked, I immediately began to search back through the house and the truck looking for it but found nothing.  I looked in every potential location but No Joy.  I considered back tracking where I had been but that was a lot of ground to cover and I figured the chances of locating were slim.  I was frustrated enough to log onto the FitBit blog site and log a complaint to the company about the wrist band.  Spent some time in the community board and found a section labelled "I've Lost My Flex" with a lot of comments.  Seems like this problem is a bit more widespread.  Depressed, pissed off, I gave up looking for it figuring I had to go get a new one.  

Sunday I got up and re-read the community board and some of the advice I had received from other users (Thanks Odyssey13!) about helpful hints on trying to locate their devices and some of the home grown fixes that others have used to prevent the flex from falling off.  I did revisit the situation and decided to use my iPhone to backtrack  my trip around town, but I did not hold out much hope.  The flex was in constant sync mode and the last time it updated my phone was between 1200-1215 Saturday and I reviewed a few receipts and found one from Wallyworld at 1223, so I figured it was might be there.  Jumped in the truck and drove up to WW to check it out, but that is still a long shot.  As I was sitting at a traffic light a few miles away from WW, I opened the FitBit app to try and force a sync and noticed it said "connected".  While I was sitting in the truck!.  I tore through the truck on Saturday but didn't see it so I would swear it was not there but the app didn't lie.  Pulled over and dug back through the truck and eventually found it wedged back behind a seat still running about 50% charge.  Elated, I did go retract my snarky comments to FitBit about losing my flex but my concerns with the band still exist.  Now I hope to apply some of the homegrown "tricks" to insure this does not become a crisis again.  Finding something that was lost is a great feeling.  Now, if I can only find my mind...


Rock Chef said...

Annoying that it was there all along, but at least you have it back. Let us know how you fix the strap!

lotta joy said...

And I don't understand one word of what you're talking about. At least I can't lose my sewing machine.

terri said...

My gym buddy went through a very similar dilemma. She LOVES her Fit Bit (I think hers is the Charge. Same one I bought my daughter for Christmas.) But she lost it and couldn't locate it for days. Luckily, hers dropped off her wrist while she was in the house, and it was found within days.

ShadowRun300 said...

It definitely seems like Fit Bit needs to think about redesigning their wristband. The stress you feel over losing it kinda negates the fitness you're looking to achieve!
I use Map My Run to log my running miles, even if I'm on a treadmill. It's fun to be able to track how many miles I run. And I can even pick which shoes I'm wearing, so it tracks the number of miles on each brand.
I wish my company would offer free medical insurance for a year as incentive to get healthy. I'd be all about that!

Abby said...

Hey, I've been walking the streets for money too! Erm... work health incentives, that is... No company suppliede FitBits, though. I wish.

And what a big WHEW! for you! That must have been the greatest feeling to find your flex. Of course, after the awful feeling of having lost it.

Riot Kitty said...

And...sorry to sound so ignorant here...what is all of that stuff on your arm?