I suppose I’m posing what can be considered a pretty loaded question. After all, everyone is different and of course, I can’t really compare an “Athlete” with a “Once in a while runner”. But, I can’t help but wonder, has lock down encouraged us to push our limits in a less than healthy way?
I love social media (and sometimes I hate it, but that’s not the point) and I tend to follow fellow sporty types. Because I’m interested in how other people train, I like a healthy boost of inspiration and encouragement. But recently, I’ve seen the word “Brick” training appear more frequently and I’ve started to watch the highlight reel of my peers a little more closely…
The thing that’s standing out to me, is the fact that some people are saying clearly “I shouldn’t be doing this, I’m still injured” or “It’s been a crazy week, but no rest days”. Or “I’m taking on this challenge, even though I’ve not covered this distance in years”.
Okay, so let’s break this down…
Some people have the natural ability to cover huge distances, avoid rest days, and reap the benefits and this is bloody amazing. I wish I was that person, but it’s okay because I’m not. I’m also in no great rush to morph into someone else. However, the danger is that this person might be giving messages to someone who has a less than healthy relationship with working out.
But, we can’t ask people to put disclaimers? The relationship they might have with fitness and how they run their social media is up to them, most of us watch and use it as a healthy boost of inspiration. Or as something to watch and think about whilst chilling on the sofa with a family bag of crisps. That was me talking about my “Friend” who does that by the way…*cough*
Along the same lines, some of us don’t really need as much rest and again, it’s entirely personal but I thrive on my rest days. Yet, on the other hand, it’s taken me years to understand the true value of recovery, rest, and fuel. It’s such a complex journey that cannot be copied and pasted from another person on the internet.
We’re just people, who are trying to find a happy place, enjoying movement, wanting to break glass ceilings, and looking to smash goals.
Which leads me to the word “Value” I do think, that when watching some people a bit closer, that they might feel that this gives them value. Or even a purpose and this is something I truly do understand. To a certain extent, I can be the same, and empathy in this situation is important. The only hard part is watching someone crash and burn out, I was in tears watching a young girl breakdown on Instagram because it was clear all her goals were too unattainable. A week later? She started absolutely pushing her limits again, only to be met with huge praise, so it’s almost a no-win situation. You stop working out, then you feel, like you don’t have content, or you push to injury. Then again, you might not have content, is creating content really that important?
I want us to be kinder with ourselves, just because someone else is working out for 3+ hours,7 days a week, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right pathway for all of us.
From a personal point of view, it was only when I took a break from social media, that I realised I still have value, away from what I choose to share online. But I headed back, because like so many others I’m addicted to that Dopthermine fix. I too want to belong in a community, I too want to meet my (very modest) goals, I’m lacing up, pressing publish and waiting for that high.
But, for the time being, I’ll stick to my rest days and be a cheerleader to those who need it the most…