Monday, March 16, 2015

Why I Post About My Workouts on Social Media


I saw this meme on FB the other afternoon, and it literally made me laugh out loud. 

But, I also realized that I don't agree with it. Obviously. I mean, if you follow me on social media at all, you know that I post about my workouts. And I have yet to fall off a treadmill.

Maybe I'm just a braggart, as are the rest of humanity who posts about their workouts on social media. Maybe we are rather narcissistic. Or maybe it is more than that.

I'm all about posting about workouts, whether for my own or someone else's, because it is posting something positive. It is celebrating a victory. The victory of getting out there and doing it. Whether "it" is Pilates, or a run. A walk or a bike ride. A swim or Zumba. Soccer or tennis. Each post represents someone who made a choice and followed through. They put one foot in front of another, over and over again, to reach that mark. They chose to do this activity over 110 other activities that they either should or could be doing.

And that is worth a like. It's worth a "good job." It just is.

I don't post my miles to shame anyone. I post my miles to remind myself of my progress. And I post indiscriminately. I post the short runs and the long runs. I post the lousy runs and the really good ones. If I am training, it will be on FB. If I'm not-it won't be. Which is why you can surmise rather accurately that I lean towards lazy from December-February. (I ate tons of baguettes in February. I posted about that too.) I should be running. But, the bed is warmer. The streets are icy. There's all kinds of excuses. And I revel in them.

I post my miles because it is an unofficial connection with my running community. My running friends are scattered geographically. But, when I see their posts, I like them, and I add some encouragement. Because we aren't competing against each other. We are all at different points of  personal journeys.But we are in this together. We get the cold and the heat. The sweat and the aches. The slow, plodding runs, and the occasional fast, triumphant runs. And, every time I see one of my friend's posts, I am propelled to get out there and get it done. It is accountability. If they can do it, I can too.

I have a friend who posts a photo from her walk each morning on Instagram. She often attaches a verse with it. Both the verse and the "fitness community" aspect of her posts encourage me. Another Twitter friends whom I follow because of a blogging connection, posts about her runs. I really know little about her, except that she is the mother of 6 kids. And seriously-if she can get her butt out the door with 6 kids-I can do it with only four. That's how I look at these posts. It's motivating. It's encouraging.

If you think about it, social media posts are really not that far removed from running magazines or other fitness magazines. They are full of routines and people "bragging" or getting bragged on. Plus, they have a much wider audience than my FB profile.

In the interest of full disclosure and transparency especially considering this post...I ran 3 miles this morning. And it was bad. Slow. Ponderous. And that is true of 99% of my Monday runs. Why? Because they are what I call stretching runs. They are the first run after I pushed it on a long run. And the muscles protest. And my Monday route is hilly and it is hard whatever day I run it. And my Monday runs generally take place after a swim. (Though not this morning) And it is hard. The only good thing that can be said about it is that it happened. And it's training. And each mile that I plod through this week, will help me run better next week. 

When we share what we've accomplished, we aren't sharing the blow by blow gory details, nor are we sharing what hurdles we had to overcome to do it. We are just saying-it's done. Rejoice with me.

So, if you have friends like me, who post about their workouts, know that it is often about much more than bragging. And, for most of us, it has nothing to do with shaming.

There is plenty of room on social media to celebrate each other successes. The "atta girls/boys" can be a beacon of encouragement in channels that often sink to negativity and personal attacks.

You can choose to scroll past. You can choose to like or comment. You can choose whatever other reaction you want to choose.

But, the choice to rejoice with those who rejoice will never be regretted.