Today’s Reason: Accountability

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?


10 thoughts on “Today’s Reason: Accountability

  1. So true. I saw somewhere the other day that Runners World was asking runners whether social media had turned them into better runners. For me, the answer is a resounding yes. I don’t post to brag, especially because I post whether a particular run is awesome or sucky. It’s about accountability for me as well.

    • Yeah! I caught that article too! Shoulda referenced it in my post! And I agree, I think blogging, Twitter and Daily Mile help to surround you with people who really do understand and support and you do become accountable to them as well as yourself by being a part of these online communities. I’ve enjoyed having a Facebook page for my blog where I can “like” anything running related and have just THAT kinda news feed, saving my personal page for everything else! Of course, I can’t help myself and WILL post about running on my personal page too. I’m only human… 😉

      • That’s a good idea, actually. I’ve stopped myself a few times this week from “liking” running-related stuff on FB because I know it shows up on my feed and it is just one more running thing for my non-running friends to roll their eyes at and ignore. Maybe a page is the solution so I can go running-crazy and not lose any friends in the process. 😉

        Off to look for your page. 🙂

  2. I was definitely one of those people who posted, “this is the last time I’ll post about my marathon.” Why? Because I don’t want to annoy people… but I suppose I should get over that. I don’t have a problem talking about running on my blog, dailymile, or twitter because those people actually signed up for it. But Facebook seems different to me for some reason. Also, I’m always worried about walking the fine line between narcissism and accountability/sharing.

    BTW, I stole your header idea for my blog. 🙂

    • You caught me- yes, I was referencing you there! I agree Facebook *feels* very different from Twitter and Daily Mile because on those 2 sites, we’re all there for the same reasons even if we’ve never even met IRL! (I keep my Twitter to ONLY running/health/fitness stuff… no I do not follow Ashton Freaking Kutcher!)

      I agree about that fine line but know that it is all about the delivery- yes, I admit, some people post just to brag or be competitive but some people (like me!) really do post to share, not show off. It’s all about the tone, right?

      P.S. On the Internet, I hear, “stealing” is relative. :p

  3. Great post Laura! I think sometimes on social media things get misinterpreted but for the most part if you really get a chance to know someone either in real life or via social media then it’s easy to tell when they are being genuine. Now I do draw the line when someone has 2-3 blog posts per day. I don’t need to read a post that is three sentences long with a self-portrait of someone in the bathroom. Just save it for the next post!

  4. I absolutely agree and can relate to a lot of what you’re saying here. I have learned, though, that I’ve inspired friends to get off their booty’s and move more just by what I’ve posted on FB. They’ll send me private messages and say, “I went to the gym today.” or, “I need to get better so I signed up for a 5K!” So while my posts may annoy some (and they should probably examine why it annoys them), it inspires others and, like you said, it holds me accountable. My favorite eCard you posted is the one about binge drinking. I agree. Anyone that wants to complain about my DailyMile posts or my running status updates can get an ear full back from me about all the whining they do and the “hangover” statuses they write about. 🙂

  5. When I started running, I was running alone. No one around to push me to run harder, or to even get up and get out for that run. So posting about my runs on Facebook and Twitter was really more about me getting it out there so others could encourage me and push me to keep going… Like you said, to hold me accountable. And so far, that’s worked. So I say keep doing it!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s