In the past years I’ve found myself oscillating between publicly talking about how I’ve built a running habit, sharing training and races experiences, versus going completely dark and not saying a word about it, not even making my Strava feed visible.
On one hand, I believe that prioritizing physical activity should be our default mode. We all need to take better care of our bodies, what we eat, how we sleep and all, otherwise we won’t be able to take better care of others (both on personal and business levels).
However, we all know that’s not the case and it doesn’t happen. Yes, it should be something NORMAL, but it’s not.
And I’m the best example to prove it. I’ve personally been living a sedentary life for many years. I practiced tons of sports in childhood, but stopped altogether after finishing high school. I only got back on this track as I approached 30 years old and became increasingly aware of how sports affects my physical and mental energy levels.
Those around me (starting with Radu – the founder of 321sport crew) served as positive models and empowered me to start running, they were there when it got hard and I wanted to quit.
Other people’s sports-related experiences, who shared photos taken during their trainings and races, wrote on their blogs or talked about it in podcasts, interviews or even books, motivated me to keep at it. Friends and complete strangers altogether. Robert. Carmen. Ryan Holiday. Hillary Allen. Amelia Boone. Lucy Bartholomew. Samantha Gash. Jocko Willink.
They helped me lace my running shoes and go out for a run when I could have used tens of excuses instead. I could have argued that I was feeling mentally exhausted, or the weather was miserable, or I had too much work to do. When all I wanted was lay on the couch and binge on TV series with a bag of nachos next to me, I chose not to. If others were able to get out of their comfort zone, I could do it as well.
And recently, to my surprise (and joy), I started getting similar reactions from other people around me. People who are close to me or I’ve never met before told me that I inspired them to start building healthier habits. They started joining me on my runs, paying more attention to what they’re eating or their sleep quality (running is one of those meta-habits that positively influence other areas of your life – it has a domino effect).
But I’m afraid not to fall on the slippery slope of ego feeding. I don’t want my experiences to be interpreted as a search for external validation. I don’t need this. I’m doing it for myself, first and foremost. I’d keep up with my daily Herăstrău runs no matter if anyone else knew about them. They energize me.
So where’s the limit between too much publicly bragging about training versus serving a purpose that’s above me, the one of inspiring and motivating others? If one person rethinks its habits thanks to what they’ve read on my blog, that’s enough! But where should I draw a line? When are there too many photos, blog posts or social media status updates?
P.S. the photo at the beginning of this article just serves as proof for my complete disregard of social validation. Color matching running clothes? Yeah, whatever.