So we purchased our son a Fitbit for either Christmas or his birthday in May. I can’t recall for which occasion exactly. The dude lives in a land far away, so I just kinda forgot about how Ricky and the Fitbit were getting along. It was probably during a FaceTime session I learned the device turned out to be a huge hit. At the time, I didn’t have much of a clue what it was even used for. For all I knew, it was a Star Trek teleportation device involving beaming someone up to the moon and back by an engineer with an Irish accent named Scotty.

If you haven’t been properly introduced to a Fitbit yet, it basically is a gummy-like plastic band worn on the wrist. Have you seen people thump one with two fingers across the top of it? They are tracking the progress of their steps. If the teeny-tiny fit lights flash with four lights by the end of the day, you are golden! Boom … you win the right to eat a carrot!

I understand from Ricky that Fitbit gives you lots of interesting information through an app you can view on your phone. Hmmm … I didn’t notice any wires coming and going from the phone to the wrist band. Strange. I was told the wrist gadget tracks the number of steps you take each day, total distance, calories burned, active minutes and even the quality of your sleep. It seems to be a very smart device if ever I heard of one. But wait … there is more!

It seems you can even challenge your friends and family. Ricky’s big sister recently got a Fitbit. The way I heard it, Ricky “challenged” Katie to a duel. Not an actual duel with water pistols at 10 paces you understand. It had to do with who took the most steps on a certain day. I coulda predicted the outcome of that contest.

“I had Katie beat when I went to bed by 16 steps. When I got up the next morning, she was 400 steps ahead of me. How does that happen?” Rick laughed.

Knowing Katie’s competitive nature, I was sure it would be an interesting story.

“When I noticed he was going to beat me it was already pretty late. It’s not like I was going to run around the block in the dark or anything. I just did a ton of laps around the kitchen island. Since he is a later time zone, it was easy to win,” chuckled Katie.

So Ricky liked his Fitbit so much he recently purchased a “fancy pants” one that also tells the time, measures heart rate and stuff like that.

“Hey Mom, do you want my old Fitbit?” he asked one day on the phone.

Got it in the mail a couple of weeks ago. All the little pieces looked mighty foreign to me. I waited until Ricky’s visit last week to figure out just what to do with the foreign object. Turns out my lovely daughter-in-law, Kate, also has a Fitbit.

“I started working out and walking long distances and tracking my water intake. I just love it,” said Kate.

“I am still asking what did Fitbit do with my wife,” Ricky smiled.

It has only been a week, but I have to admit I’m kinda getting attached to my Fitbit. I already have my first “badge.” Fitbit sent me a cartoon of a boat shoe for hitting 5,000 or more steps in one day. We were on vacation, so don’t get too impressed. It’s not like that is going to happen every day. Ricky has a cartoon of Italy for hitting 736 life miles, or to put it another way, for walking the length of Italy. Let’s face it … a boat shoe may be my only claim to Fitbit fame. Just saying.

So this morning I received my first challenge. I reluctantly pushed the “accept” icon. It was from Katie. Yep … the chances of me heading to the gym late tonight are looking pretty good. Beam me up NOW Scotty!


Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 19 years. Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit Dixie’s blog at   


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