Sharing or Oversharing
My mind wanders a lot these days. It wanders while I run, it wanders while I sit, it’s wandering now as I sit in my greenhouse surrounded by plants. Recently, I have seen trends, trends in exercise, trends in sport, and trends in life. Much of my day is consumed by social media and thus I end up watching a lot as well as participating.
The latest trend I seem to be seeing is the sharing or oversharing of our workout routines. Wait cries the audience as they point back to the speaker! Yes, I have been known to share too much, share my workouts, share silly pictures of me doing things with weird objects. I am as much to blame as anyone else.
I think there is a time and a place to share your workouts, as we go through our own evolutions in life and in our own journey there is a time to share and a time to work. I remember in 2011 when I started this whole thing this blog was just a training blog with workouts posted each day and thoughts that accompanied it, sometimes it still is. During the late fall/winter 2011/2012 I distinctly remember a conversation with my former training partner Jason, criticizing (rightfully so) that my training and workouts were no longer about what I needed to do and had become more show pieces of “look what I can do” “look how weird I can be” “look I carry a rock and write cute posts about it” I could go on but will save you the whole thing.
At the time the conversation cut hard, and cut deep. It hurt and was hurtful to hear. I was doing athletic things but I had stopped really training. In truth my best training of the last couple of years came when I was starting out, when I spent all my time with my nose to the grindstone, pulling away alone in the woods. No sponsors to show off product for, no expectations, no real blog readers (other than my mother), just dirty me in the woods. Then my workouts got more “interesting” I incorporated weird objects, doing planks while stuck in a building all day (before the plank rage), sitting on a stationary spin bike for hours (again stuck in a building). A lot of my weird workouts stemmed from work and my environment. I shared them all and probably most of the time overshared. I posted the pictures on Facebook showing me being a “badass”. I am guilty as charged. That is what social media is for, right?
Then something happened, another conversation and life altered my consciousness. I realized no one really cares. In fact it’s annoying. My non-racing friends were ready to block my Facebook posts from their newsfeed. I realized I had moved on, I didn’t need to post every little thing in my life. Instead, I needed to put my nose back to the grindstone and train.
The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when nobody else is watching.
I am watching those follow my footsteps, as my newsfeed is now clogged with photos of people doing handstands in airports, carrying tires all over the world and back, elevation training masks (still don’t get them), lots of weight vest photos, self shots of abs, biceps, triceps, and another muscle groups. I love sharing new PR’s and new adventures. If I have a camera, I love to document fun times and fun adventures. I don’t set up these shots, they just happen, organically. But the more I train the more I realize if each day you post a story of or photograph and claim it to be the _______ (insert word) training session ever, doesn’t it dampen the truly exceptional ones?
I know Facebook was created to share every moment, every heartbeat, every poop, and every fart for the world to see but are we sharing too much? Are we oversharing? My daily workouts now find a new home each day, in my training log. I note my highs and lows there. The exceptional days, I like to share an accomplishment with friends be it online or in a phone call. I am sure my friend Janice was sick of listening to me during the CrossFit Open after each WOD!
Really all the rambling in this post the question is to those posting all the updates and photos, Are you doing it for yourself? Or are you doing it because you think it’s what people want to see? I am all about doing your own thing and being your own person but is your action driven by your own inner desire or because you think “fans” (a whole other topic) will want to see you doing it? Is it about getting more social media likes or improving your inner worth and self?
It might be one or the other or both at times. I don’t try to think I have the answer. I do however find these days, I see a lot of “badass” behavior plastered on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Maybe I have just a bunch of badass friends (although I hate the term) or maybe we are all just trying to ham it up for the camera, to create a story even when there isn’t one.
PS… I got my first kipping pull-up yesterday. 🙂