Betrayed

There are some things, places, people you come to rely on. When a day comes that they don’t come through, it can leave feeling disappointed, even betrayed. Today was my day. The culprits were my legs. When I started my run/walk today, I felt off but I blew it off. Then one minute into my second run time (I am currently learning to run through the run/walk method), my knee started to ache. I slowed down and finished the time. About 45 seconds into the next run, my calf on the opposite leg started to throb, forcing me to slow to a fast walk. I was totally frustrated and mad at my legs for punking out. In their defense, I hadn’t ran in over a week due to a family emergency — but still! I spent the remainder of my gym time walking. The walking still hurt a little, but Kayne (West) reminded that what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger. During my walk I decided that that I would use this experience to remind myself that all days won’t be good, but if it is important to trudge on and not abandon the journey I have set forth. At the very end, I mustered in two last good run sessions, thanks to Melissa’s (Etheridge) reminder of why I set out on this journey. In the end, I got about 2.25 miles in. My pace sucked, but my motivation prevailed.

“Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger, more than ever, hour after hour, Our work is never over.” — Kayne West

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Sooooo, why the blog?

The short answer to the question is “Why, not?”

The long answer has many parts. First, for those who didn’t know, I am in school right now. I am getting a Masters in Marketing and 2 graduate certificates – one in social media marketing and the other in nonprofit leadership. This blog is part of a class requirement. Beyond the class requirement, I wanted to keep track of my journey into transforming into a healthier me. Also, this blog gives me a creative outlet beyond work. Lastly, this blog is also a motivator. I have friends reading it who keeping up with my progress and journey. This is my way of letting them know how its going and letting them know when I need to be put back on track.

My current class has given me lots of tips on how to write a blog and set realistic expectations. So far, I think the funniest, best advice and reality check I have come across was from the article Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Business. The author, Josh Jantsh, said “If you’re one of those folks who has resisted blogging because you don’t think anyone would read your blog, don’t worry; they probably won’t.” While the line was humorous, the point was to write content that people want to read. Hopefully, I’m on track with that.

jpegbooksI also have Jantsh’s book, Duct Tape Marketing. Between his book, his article and the book, Groundswell, I have learned 3 main things about blogging: develop a plan so people can find the blog, encourage others to comment on your blog and be honest.

 

 

A little bit of a warning on the last tip, though: don’t be too honest. I learned from award-winning blogger Pamela Ribon that you can be too revealing. Beyond being a blogger, Pam is a screenwriter, best-selling novelist, and a friend (and she has amazing taste in shoes!). I have followed her writing for years. From her, I have learned to keep some info to yourself and maintain some line of privacy because what you reveal is out there forever.

One final tip that seems to be the most common is to read and learn from other blogs. So far, some of my favorite fitness blogs are the Daily Julie, Lazy Girl Running and Plus Size Princess. All three of these blogs seem to follow the 3 main tips I have learned. Out of the three, Plus Size Princess (#PSPfit) is my favorite. I can relate to the blogger and her posts are interesting, engaging and real.

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So, why the blog post on blogs? – to keep me on track. If you are reading this, I need you to comment often and remind me to follows the tips I have just given to others. In the end, hopefully I will help others as I help myself.

The Social Truth

Currently there is big business in social fitness, including health apps. Prime example, according to research2guidance, the market for smartphone health apps in 2012 was $1.3 billion.

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.21.33Big brands such as Equinox, Under Armor, Lululemon Athletica, Zumba and Crunch Gym have developed successful approaches to social media (catch a full review of their social ways). These big brands offer a social experience beyond sales and discounts. They offer followers quality blog information, well-produced instruction and inspirational YouTube videos, shared quotes, life inspirations, health tips, and a chance to engage with a fitness community.

 

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.17.34While sites like these promote good health and community engagement, big brands and their followers can sometimes walk a risky line when they go social. Crossfit, whose tagline is forging elite fitness, is experiencing controversy with its high-speed, high-impact approach to fitness and exercise. As Brook Ross points out, “Searching for the words “pain” and “CrossFit” on Twitter yields hundreds of results, nearly every one praising the sting the workout provides”. Unfortunately, the word-of-mouth praise is not may be doing harm to the novices who don’t understand the dangers of pushing your workouts to the limit and knowing when to quit. Most know that pushing your workouts too far could lead injury, but many don’t understand it could lead to riskier problems that could cause kidney issues.

 

Screenshot 2014-08-08 20.18.20Fitness brands and followers also need to be aware of what they are inspiring others or being inspired to do. Fitness instagrams, known as fitstagrams, are a great way to inspire those looking for a fitness pick-me-up. Brands like Under Armor, REI, Nike, CrossFit and New Balance post and encourage followers to post images of people in action and tackling fitness feats. While these images can be engaging and motivational, they also risk encouraging people to set unhealthy body image goals. Followers see other “regular” people reaching their fitness goals, but may forget what is attainable by one is not attainable by all. Example: While Halle Berry’s (image from @emilymaksoud) reveal worthy shape would be awesome to have, realistically, Queen Latifah’s (image from @queenlatifah) gorgeous new figure is more attainable for me.

 

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Bottom line: Know your body and your limits. Fitness and a healthier lifestyle can be great for you, but pushing beyond your limits and having unrealistic goals can be dangerous.