I was talking with a friend about the haps on FB when we starting to joke about the never ending barrage of fitness selfies that people post. You know, the sweaty after workout posts, the before workout posts, the I'm-in-the-middle-of-working-out posts, the workout stats post . . . all that! We were C-L-O-W-N-ING the culprits of such shenanigans! It was all fun and games until I stopped and realized . . . I do it too!!!
That afternoon when I went out for my run, I realized that I too am guilty of the occasional fitness selfie. I’m a runner, and like many runners it is my ritual to post before race and after race photos. My Nike app is set to tell my timeline when I am running. I have posted out of town runs, milestone runs, scenic runs, etc.
I’m Guilty. I’m about that life!
When you are active on social media there is the potential for over-sharing, sometimes unintentionally. And when I realized that I, too am a culprit it got me to thinking about why we post our beat up, sweat-faced pics in the first place. Unfortuntately, some of our friends are annoyed by them. But, I just think they just don’t understand.
I love running . . . when I’m done. And sometimes during, but getting out there and getting started is another story. It’s hard for me to tear myself away from Reality TV, Game of Thrones binge watching, sleep . . . sometimes it’s hard to get a babysitter . . . it’s hard! The fact that you get out there is a feat in and of itself. But as Socrates said, “Be as you wish to seem”! Posting about fitness helps to create an image of you, real or perceived. It creates that image that you are a runner, or a fitness buff, or a yogi or whatever it is you want to be. I can’t tell you how many people I run into now that say, “Hey Girl, I see you running all those marathons and stuff!” The truth is I’m still working on that. I will run my first HALF-marathon in September. But the point is that they view me as a runner. They send me helpful articles, coupon codes for races, or questions because they know I'm a runner.
Also, unless they tell you, you never really know if the person you see posting is really in an actual virtual challenge (dig that contradiction). I did one once where you had to post your workouts or your stats for points. I didn’t win the challenge so I didn’t announce it widely that I was a part of it, but I did post.
Virtual accountability is a funny thing, though. Truly, there aren’t any old biddies squinting their eyes and shaking their heads at you when you don’t run or don’t post, but you begin to feel it yourself. You feel like a fraud! You feel like a phony!! The feeling is REAL and it’s enough to make you get up and go!!!
“Oh, no! I don’t want people thinking ya girl has fallen off! I gotta get out there! I gotta get my #Feet2Pavement on!!!”
People are competitive by nature. I try not to be, but it’s there. There’s nothing like seeing your workout nemesis post about his/her great run or about the number of miles they’ve covered to make you unass your bed or coach and get moving! And once you’re done, OF COURSE, you have to post YOUR results!
“Aw snap, she did 5 miles today! Oh, well you know that means I gotta do 6!!!”
I am part of the over, OVER 30 crowd and many of my peers have been adopting healthy lifestyles and fitness routines to counteract all the fun bad behavior of our 20’s and 30’s. It was fun getting the extra pounds, but losing it . . . not so much. So, it’s only natural that when a person hits a milestone they want people to know about it! People post about their kids, their dogs, their food, their outfits, their shoes, so why not post about your longest run to date or an awesome fitness “Before and After” on Transformation Tuesday! Every workout may truly be a victory . . . you never know.
“Get it girl!!”
Support and Encouragement
Staying consistent with fitness can be HARD! Life can get in the way even when you tell yourself that fitness is a priority! AND YES, I KNOW, your life and your health is about YOU and you shouldn’t need validation from others. I get all that, but if it was that simple more people would JUST DO IT. But the truth is, it’s nice sometimes to get a “like” or an encouraging comment to help fuel your drive. The person may be smiling in the photo, but you have no idea how hard the run was, what cramped up after mile 5, or what affliction almost made them call it quits mid-race. A pat on the back can do more than you know, and besides, aren’t all things better when we “get by with lil help from [our] friends!”
“Great Job, Superwoman!!! You DID that!!!
The Motivational Domino Effect
Encouragement and inspiration have a domino effect. I can personally attest to the fact that seeing my friends who are my fitness “s-heros” has motivated me to do more and be more. I see their progress . . . because they post. And in return, I have others tell me that seeing my pics and posts have motivated them. It's the motivational equivalent of the Circle of Life!
"Wow!!! Can't wait to get to your level, girl!!! Congratualtions!"
Lastly, To the Postees
Now if your FB friends can’t get with all your fitness posts you could just join a private group of other gym bunnies or trail junkies like yourself and post there and be amongst your people! But, don’t let the haters kill your vibe!!! They might not understand why you want your sister’s-best friend’s-cousin’s-co-worker to know you ran 10 miles . . . and that’s okay!
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