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Ignore your fitness tracker and walk to Mordor instead

Phone with Fantasy Hike app pulled up
I’ve got a long way to get to Mordor, but an imaginary destination can be more fun than metrics. | Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

In mid-November, my nagging calf strain became a full-blown injury. Techtember and Techtober kicked my butt. My grandma died. Also, my lease was running out and I had about two weeks to find somewhere to live. These are the perfect conditions for a fitness slump.

Slumps happen to everyone. But I still beat myself up pretty hard. I review wearables and fitness tech for a living, but that doesn’t make me immune to the toxic aspects of fitness culture. Didn’t my failure to perform, even during difficult times, make me a fraud? With each run, I found myself chasing a past version of myself who was thinner, faster, and stronger. Logically, I knew better, but it was depressing. On Christmas, I was cleaning out my old apartment by myself,…

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