Everybody's a marathon runner these days. It seems that as we all get further away from our college days, many people double down on their fitness efforts. CrossFit is a huge, seemingly masochistic craze; I can't go a day without a daily deal email offering me personal training; and black leggings and bright colored sweatshirts are clearly the new powersuit.
There's nothing inherently wrong with this. We all know the benefits of exercise - better sleep, better mood, better sex - the list goes on. So unless this new pledge to be fit is interfering in your daily life, I am in full support.
Just don't tell me about it online.
Everybody has these friends. Their last Facebook post looks something like this:
"Great 20 mile run by the lake! Never felt better!"
"Killer tabata workout. My glutes are gonna burrrrrrrn."
They may post photos of themselves, sweaty and smiley, with a thin glaze of gloating. They might provide you with their MapMyRun route, so you can see exactly how they accomplished that grueling run.
Remember when your parents told you not to ask people how much money they make, and to be discreet about your family's earnings by the same token? Why did they teach you that? Because it's rude, and it begets comparison. And your paycheck shouldn't matter, in the context of friends and colleagues.
The workout thing is not much different. Physical fitness and health is more visible, arguably, than one's income, but no less personal. It's rude to ask someone how far they can run, and it's rude to toot your own horn about how far YOU can run. Also, it shouldn't matter. I want my friends to be happy and feel good about themselves, but I don't care at all whether they can finished that "30 day lunge challenge" they found on Pinterest. (and subsequently tagged with "Oh I am SO doing this!").
If chasing fitness goals is truly in the pursuit of better health and more confidence, tweeting your workout routine is sort of counterintuitive. What it conveys is insecurity, that you need your social network to commend you for your efforts. Accomplishing these goals and blasting them online only feeds the sort of "am-I-good-enough?" mentality that may have brought you to your training routine in the first place. That's not a recipe for health or confidence.
Returning to the income analogy, while I don't want to know what my friends make yearly, I'm thrilled to know when they get a promotion. I'm super proud of my friends who have finished marathons, but on a daily basis, I couldn't care less.
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