The Fitbit Challenge


Writing can be a sedentary life. If I’m to believe those articles always popping up on my newsfeed, sitting for long hours can be as damning to one’s health as smoking.

I have a treadmill desk, but I discovered I’m not one of those people who can walk while crafting a story. I can surf and walk, which is okay for 30-60 minutes of daily cardio exercise, but it doesn’t address the other 23+ hours a day.

I also have a jogging trampoline, which I bounce around on periodically throughout the day. That is of course, when I remember to take a break. I need something to remind me throughout the day to get up and move.

This all brings me to the Fitbit.

I’d been toying with the idea of getting an Apple Watch. At one time, I declared they were the most ridiculous gadgets. That was of course, until I started coveting one. I first started considering an Apple Watch when trying to deal with caring for my mother, and worrying about missing calls from her when I was out, and failed to hear my phone ring in my purse.

Since I’m not immune to gadgets and the lure of apps, I started saving my Apple rewards gift cards from my credit card, to put toward an Apple Watch.  But then mom needed a new iPad, so I donated my Apple gift cards to her purchase.  It wasn’t long until I accumulated a few more gift cards—but then my wireless router went out…I had to be practical.

In the meantime, my daughter had just received her new Fitbit, and urged me to get one, so we could do daily challenges. While the Apple Watch also has a fitness app, I rather liked the idea of having someone to nudge me along each day.

After pouring over the Fitbit and Apple websites, I went with the Fitbit. Fact was, if I got the Apple Watch, I would probably spend more time fiddling with the non-fitness apps, while destroying my eyes and forgetting to walk.

Today is day three with my Fitbit. Elizabeth and I have been doing the 10,000 steps challenge each day. I didn’t quite make it the first day—blame it on doctor appointments with my mom and the fact it was almost noon before my new Fitbit arrived in the mail that day.

Yesterday was a hoot—Elizabeth and I were neck in neck all day, and the little stinker reached 10,000 steps about 10 minutes before I got there.

But today is another day….

When life interferes…

HautingDanielle (1)At the end of May I received two comments on my blog in response to my post “Instead of a treadmill desk – a jogging trampoline!” I intended to respond but life got in the way. My husband came down with a mystery infection and then had emergency surgery the first week in June. He came home after almost a week in the hospital and had to undergo six weeks of in-home IV treatment, with me playing nurse.

Things are sort of getting back to normal around here. Sort of.

Don hasn’t been back to his office, but he’s off the IV and now going to physical therapy about three times a week. In spite of his pain and fatigue he’s getting some work done (he is a real estate broker), but that means he’s moved into my home office and we are sharing a desk. I bought one of those little devices that hook up two computers to the same monitor and keyboard, so both of our desktop computers are on my roll top desk.

I don’t use my desktop computer much these days—and prior to Don getting sick, I used to put my laptop on the desk’s keyboard drawer when I wasn’t standing on the trampoline typing.

When Don came home from the hospital the trampoline got shoved aside. I’ve just recently set it up again, yet I’m not using it at the level I was before, for one thing Don and I are still sharing the office, and when I write I can’t do it with anyone in the room. This means I often retreat to the living room couch with my laptop, to find solitude necessary for me to write. Fortunately it is swimming weather, so the pool gives me a daily work out.

As for my writing, yesterday I sent my latest book off to the editor—Haunting Danielle. I normally write fiction under my pen name, Anna J. McIntyre and non-fiction under my real name. But Haunting Danielle is a little different from my other McIntyre books, so I was trying to decide if I wanted to publish under my real name—or the pen name I normally use for fiction.

I decided to publish the book under both names. Why? you ask. It will let my McIntyre readers know the book has a slightly different flavor from my other titles under that name, yet like the McIntyre books it is character driven.

One of my greatest marketing failings as an independent author is creating a series that doesn’t neatly fall under a specific genre. I did this with my McIntyre’s Coulson Series—and now I’ve done it again with Haunting Danielle. I’m trying to pin it down–a ghost story, paranormal mystery, with a splash of romance and maybe a bit on the cozy side. There’s no graphic sex in this one—and while many of my readers insist McIntyre romances are on the clean and sweet side, some reviewers claim there is too much graphic sex in my books. Go figure.

Haunting Danielle is the first book in a new series by the same name. Look for its eBook release on September 1, 2014.

What music makes you move?

SONY DSCSitting in front of the computer all day long is a killer. I’ve read some reports that say it can be as devastating to your health as smoking. When I worked with Don at the real estate office, I’d regularly take walks, often meeting up with a walking buddy and head down to the London Bridge, which is a beautiful area to walk, especially this time of year when the weather is ideal for strolling or jogging along the Bridgewater Channel (picture above).

I still manage to get a few walks in down by the channel, but now that my office is located in my home, not so much. At least, not enough to do my health any good.

For Christmas I asked Santa for a jogging trampoline. Reluctantly he gave me one, yet I know he was wondering if they would suffer the same fate as those pricy Zumba CDs, sitting neglected in my closet.

While I am not using the trampoline as often as I should – it’s seen far more use than the Zumba CDs ever got. One reason, I like picking out music that makes me want to move. This digital age gives us better options these days. I visited iTunes and purchased singles that I like rocking to. I ended up with: Old Time Rock and Roll, Jambalaya, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Footloose, Flashdance…What a Feeling, Bad,Bad Leroy Brown, Proud Mary, Neutron Dance and American Pie.

So now when I take my exercise break, I turn on my iPad, hook up to the Bluetooth speaker, and rock out to my songs – on my jogging trampoline.

Oh, I also close the blinds in my office…so the neighbors don’t see.