Do I like soap operas? You bet I do — the thicker the plot, the more I’m intrigued. Love. Cheating. Plotting. Bring it on! But when my best friend and I met at 1-Altitude, our fav rooftop bar, I wasn’t expecting her to arrive with arm extended. I looked down and spotted the new Fitbit Flex 2 perched there like a trophy.
“But you don’t run!” were the first words out of my mouth.
“Does it matter?” she responded. I shake my head. A Valentine’s Day gift that my best friend couldn’t possibly appreciate had just landed on her wrist.
Was I thinking rationally? Hell no. But I needed to do something to turn this encounter into a serendipitous moment, so I decided to set off on a mission any soap opera character would take on: I was going to get my best friend into shorts and on the track. That Fitbit inspired my effort.
Here’s how I did it…
I go into teaching mode
Convincing my friend would not be easy, but as a teacher, I know that facts and figures go far when presenting lessons. I thought about my best friend’s personality and came up with a list of features that would appeal to her:
- The ultra-slim minimalist design (30-percent smaller than the previous Fitbit) means she can take it out on the town because it works with her entire wardrobe. I know this because I borrow stuff from her all the time.
- My best friend swims, so my first job was orienting her to the automatic swim tracking feature that is water-resistant up to 50m. When her boyfriend gave her this device, he had no clue it did anything more than look good on her wrist.
- I showed my best friend the Fitbit Flex 2’s all-day activity tracking capability, taking her through various ways this device could streamline her hectic life. By the time I was done, she was adroit at checking out steps, distance, calories burned and activity progress. I had her hooked!
- I next took her through the SmartTrack features that allow her to keep tabs on activities like walks and time on the elliptical, pointing out data storage features for quick retrieval. “But I don’t run!” she reminded me. “No worries,” said I. “I’m just teaching you what your cool gift can do!”
- Knowing that Teri doesn’t sleep well, I ended my tutorial by showing her the Move feature that I suspected would fascinate her because it can help her get better sleep. “No worries about oversleeping,” I added. “This alarm will vibrate you awake gently!”
I seal the deal
Once I showed my best friend how many benefits she would receive simply by knowing how her new Fitbit worked, I closed the deal by pointing out the obvious:
- The battery is designed to keep functioning for up to five days on one charge.
- “If you ever decide to run, you won’t miss a call or text because your Fitbit keeps you in the loop.”
- The Fitbit Flex 2 never met a platform it couldn’t cosy up to; Android; Windows; iOS.
- “The online dashboard and app act like a personal social secretary,” I added.
- “Trust me,” said I, “once you get used to the clever light system that’s more responsive than your boyfriend, you’re going to thank me big time. See blue and you’ve got a text or call. Green is the goal celebration colour and magenta tells you to get off your butt. Yellow’s the silent alarm and teal indicates a system process.”
- Her response: “Wow. Even the light colours match items in my closet.” I finished by telling her that the tracker is removable, so it can be worn in myriad configurations as a wrist accessory, bracelet and pendant. I challenged her to find other ways to use her remarkable new movement “conscience.”
How I got my best friend into those shorts
“I don’t know how to thank you for helping me learn about the Fitbit Flex 2!” my best friend said after I told her that I had run out of features to explain and had taken her through the handy wear and care guidelines the manufacturer provided to make sure the device stayed clean and functional into the future. I had been waiting for that moment.
“You can thank me by coming on a run with me,” I said, daring her to say no!
What could she say? A few days later, I took her on a short jog and after we passed lots of people she knew who suddenly looked at her with new eyes, she realised running wasn’t the boring activity she imagined.
In fact, she admitted that she was having fun. Over the next months, she and I increased her time on the trail but I was careful not to push her too much so our progress wasn’t impeded.
A surprising conclusion to my tale
Having done a splendid job of making a running convert with the aid of that Fitbit Flex 2, I was shocked to receive an e-mail one afternoon from Teri that turned out to be a review of her device. She knew I liked to write reviews and decided to send me her own take on what she now calls her “most important companion.”
- Easy to clean with plain water and a very soft toothbrush.
- Feels so comfortable (she got into the habit of wearing it loosely to avoid rubbing and pressure issues).
- Teri says that she’s never been this organised in her life!
- Growing worldwide popularity has led to price drops (I’ve already hinted at what I’d like for my birthday).
- She learned quickly that wearing the tracker as a pendant during high-intensity workouts is asking for trouble.
- Magnets in the tracker can compromise medical devices; a word to the wise for those with pacemakers.
- The pendant and bangle accessories don’t support swim tracking.
- Programming is everything, so if you can’t figure out how to work the Fitbit Flex 2, ask for help!
If I sound smug, it’s no accident. At first, I felt petulant and envious – until I experienced a moment of clarity that reinforced my core belief that “everything happens for a reason.”
My best friend and I have actually become better friends, I’ve introduced someone who hated even the notion of running to the sport and managed to feel good about myself for overcoming my own negativity. Did I fall in love with the Fitbit Flex 2? What do you think? Who says a thoroughly modern accessory can’t be an agent of change? Not me!
Have you ever converted a non-runner? What persuasive argument(s) did you use to convince the person to give running a chance?