Activity Rings and Dog Walks

I’m trying to have a perfect month, and it’s causing my dog to think I’m crazy.

In the native Activity app in iOS, for those of you not in-the-know, there are three rings that the user attempts to close everyday. These three rings are the bells that lead to my Pavlovian response of needing to exercise, to get up and move.

The outermost ring, the cotton candy pink one, denotes active calories burned – active calories being those calories that you burn above and beyond resting calories. I suppose this ring is the color of cotton candy as a reminder to not ruin your caloric burn gains by eating junk food. This ring might be more meaningful to me if it were the color of chocolate or donuts.

This ring is usually pretty easy to close – I’m am active dude, for the most part. Whether I’m wandering around my house looking for something to do, or wandering the halls at work looking for something to do, I’m usually on my feet. I never worry about closing this ring.

The innermost ring, the baby blue one, records whether or not you’ve stood up during the course of a given hour. My guess is that this ring is colored baby blue because, just like a young baby, the goal of this ring is to get you to stand up and walk.

I rarely worry about this ring, as well. As mentioned above, I’m constantly on my feet, moving about my home or office. There have been days when I’ve been sick in bed in the past, and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t get out of bed and shuffle down the hall, only to return to my bed, for the sole purpose of adding another notch to this ring.

The ring that garners most of my attention, though, is the middle ring, the vomit-green one. This one is easy to figure out – it tracks cardio activity, with a goal of completing at least thirty minutes of exercise for a given day to close the ring. The vomit color is fitting, as that is often how I feel after about ten minutes of running.

The goal of closing this ring has led me to do some decidedly odd things, the least of which is not showing up at the gym at 9:30pm (it closes at 10 on most nights) just to do a quick thirty minutes on the treadmill with the express purpose of closing this damn ring.

One of the more questionable decisions this ring forces me into is to go out at 5:30am in the frigid cold to do a little running with Zeus. I’m sure he hates it, and I’m not a fan, either. We often have conversations while out walking/running, and they go a little something like this:

Me: “Man, it’s cold out here!”
Zeus: *looks back at me*
Me: “Is it cold for you? I mean, you’re always wearing a coat…”
Zeus: *looks back at me again*
Me: “…but I know you get cold. In fact, I can set my thermometer…”
Zeus: *looks back at me with concern*
Me: “…by how quickly it takes you to bark to be let back in the house…”
Zeus: *looks back at me and, I swear, rolls his eyes*
Me: “…when I let you out in the morning.”

So, here it is, late January, and so far, so good. Not to jinx myself, but I’m reasonably confident that I’m going to close all three rings every day in January, thereby giving me a perfect month. And my reward for doing this?

A digitally Perfect Month award in the Activity app. And the peace of mind of knowing that, no matter how pointless a goal is, I’m up for the challenge. And a dog that thinks I’m crazy.

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