Today started out satisfactorily enough. I awoke bright and early to the sound of the territorial authorities’ dominion horn. I knocked the stray straw bedding off my burlap sack/shirt, folded up my tarp and stuck it in the crawl space under the abandoned gas station. I was somewhere around halfway to my traps to see if I got any breakfast – a simple mouse or a vole would have satisfied me, I’m not greedy – and that’s when it occurred to me that I’d probably already taken better than 1,000 uncounted steps. Let me tell you, it was depressing. My Fitbit hasn’t had a charge since before the syphilitic tunnel-dwellers that sold supplemental insurance before the catastrophic unraveling – I had one of their stupid policies – captured and ate my nephew.

Anyway, once I reached my traps I found the cutest brown bunny with its foot in one of the leg snares, and the way it wiggled its nose at me got me to thinking about the better times before the descent of unyielding darkness, and my own daughter’s pet rabbit, Carrots. So I sat on a stump and reminisced, and I guess I was distracted because I forgot to bury the bunny’s entrails, and that’s probably why I was beset by that vicious pack of wolf-dog hybrids. Really, running in terror is nobody’s favorite way to start the day, but it’s a heck of a lot better if you can at least keep track of your activity level. By the time I dove in the creek and paddled downstream until the snarling faded, I had no clue. I ran and swam. That’s cross-training. When I looked at the lifeless band on my wrist, I felt doubly shortchanged.

Months back, I had lost my way foraging with my companions and wound up staggering alone in the badlands for nine days, often doubled over in agony due to lack of water. But when I wasn’t writhing, man did I take a lot steps. Those first couple days I bet I did 65 thousand. That’s the Ruby Slippers Badge. Sure, I tapered off, but what would that even look like on my Fitbit display? It’d take my breath. The whole thing was made more ironic by the fact that it was a nomadic witch who found me near death, gave me mouth-to-mouth – a witch literally gave me breath – then nursed me back to health. Only occasionally did she fondle my nipples and earlobes while pleasuring herself, which was a small price to pay for her charity in my book. Especially when you consider that she gifted me her hand-cranked electric generator after I hit her in the head with a mattock while she slept.

I was on top of the world there for the two weeks that generator worked. My Fitbit was charged up and back in action. It was heaven. I was knocking out the 20,000 step Trail Shoes Badge just by being in daily survival mode. I know that witch smelled awfully bad, and had no teeth, but maybe I should’ve stuck with her, because she had some sort of lubricant she used on that generator, and once it seized up, I was left with no charge once again. I hadn’t cried that hard since I lost my thumbs.

If I’m being honest, I haven’t always been able to keep up that level of activity. The first few days after I was forcibly castrated by those radicalized Shakers, I was pretty much sedentary. My steps were down to nothing – and you could forget about 30 minutes of vigorous exercise. Still, when I was finally able to drag myself into that berry bramble and settle my tremors long enough to position my head where I could get a few in my mouth and chew, my activity really picked up again.

I know what you’re thinking. With the multitude of parasites I host, and all the oozing sores, do I really need to exert myself? The thing is, it’s not just about fitness for me. It’s about a feeling of accomplishment. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I always got a little rush out of the digitized confetti that flew when I cracked the 15,000 steps necessary to get the Urban Boot Badge, and I miss it. Not the same way I miss my parents since their hangings, but I miss it just the same.

When your day’s not going the way you planned, it’s the little things that perk you up. For me, that’s my Fitbit. Or it was. So let me tell you, if ever another putrid witch with a hand-cranked generator saves my life before sexually molesting me against my will, I’m just going to go with it. Because what’s a little stink and humiliation when the Olympian Sandal Badge is within your four-fingered reach?