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Today’s Reason: Accountability

Posted Dec 06 2012 5:20pm
Over the years, several people have said to me that they dislike it when people post each and every work out they do on Facebook .  And, a few years ago, I would have agreed with that! I used to think to myself, “Exercising is a necessity, it goes without saying that it’s something you have to do every day! I don’t update my status with ‘I breathed oxygen today, people, woo hoo!’ so pipe on down with all the ‘Hey, Internet, I worked out today yay me!’ posts. Geesh.”

I’ve since changed my mind.

I never used to really share my running endeavors on Facebook until I started racing and of course, social media just loves a hey-look-at-me-and-my-finisher’s-medal picture.  When I would share, I would do so somewhat sheepishly, unsure if Facebook friends would see it as a self-absorbed ego trip. In my want to post and write and talk about running without any judgement whatsoever, I went ahead and started this blog.

So why do people feel the need to post about each and every work out or run or healthy meal they ate? One word: accountability.

Personally, I’m in a very safe space with a blog, Facebook page , Daily Mile log and Twitter account - I’m able to post about working out, running, healthy eating and the like as much as I want to those outlets and know that only those who are interested are reading. Essentially, I’m doing the exact same thing as those who constantly post their exercise endeavors to Facebook but on a much grander scale, so I’m really just as guilty.

I write this blog in order to be accountable to myself- if I put it out there in the world then I am committing to following through. Friends who post their workouts are doing the exact same thing- they are making their intentions known to whoever will listen and are moving forward, accomplishing their goals.  And for that, we all deserve a big pat on the back!

Exercise in general is hard- it’s hard to get started and it’s hard to stay motivated. People always ask me why I race so much and the answer to that is also, accountability. If I am registered for a future race and actually want to do well, you’re darn right I’m going to get up every single day, lace those sneakers and get my miles in. Races make me accountable to myself and keep me motivated to continue to run.

And if I happen to post on Facebook that I ran today, well, that’s my way of being a coach to myself as well as others- if I did it, and posted it, so can you.  Since I’ve been posting about my run streak, several people have written and commented that they, inspired by my (albeit very vocal) 40 day run streak goal, are going to shoot for a streak of their own. How cool is that?! We’re not bragging, we’re not boasting, we’re just inspiring each other, doing the damn thing and anyone who wants, can too!

A couple friends have recently accomplished some major running feats- first marathon, first 50 mile race- and I saw that they promised the Facebook world that they would stop posting about it (“Just one more, post, and then I’ll stop, I swear!”) but I say please don’t stop, keep posting away about your accomplishments and I will be there, reading, and giving you a virtual high five for achieving your goals.

I’ve never been as accountable to myself and my running efforts until I joined Team in Training (oh you just KNEW I was gonna go there- right??) and started training for my first marathon .  Being a member of a team where everyone was training together- most doing their first full too- and working to raise funds for such a worthy cause also keeps me very committed to all things running.  If I had never joined TNT, I would still be dedicated to fitness but without that level of accountability.  Mentoring again for this upcoming summer season makes me feel like my running is actually something important and worthwhile- getting my mentees to feel the exact same way is a task I take very happily and seriously.

I am, and promise to always be, accountable.

How do you feel about sharing your running accomplishments with the world of social media/ your Facebook friends? If you don’t Facebook or Tweet about your endeavors, why not?  How do you stay accountable to yourself and your running efforts?

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