We’ve all seen them — the Facebook posts that announce the daily workout regimen. They may be posted before or after a workout — announcing miles run, races completed, classes attended or taught, pounds heaved, torturous training sessions, bodies bended — you name it. People’s accomplishments and motivation – and sometimes lack thereof – up for everyone to see.

Almost as ubiquitous as these posts are ones indicating how annoying the fitness posts are. Who knew a simple “I ran 13 miles today” would be such a source of controversy? “I don’t have to tell everyone how much I work out,” they say; “I don’t care how often you go to the gym.”

Next time you find yourself rolling your eyes at someone’s pronouncement of gym prowess, stop for a moment and think. Why does someone else’s gym escapades bother you so much?

Perhaps you find the posts boastful. Well, if your friend just PR’d in a race or has worked super hard to lose tons of pounds and working out was an important part of that – they have a right to boast. If you find their boastfulness excessive, remember that they are, allegedly, your “friend.” A true friend would overlook such a perceived character flaw.

Perhaps the post hits a nerve? Have you been slacking on you gym time? Maybe you feel insecure in your abilities and are secretly jealous. Your annoyance at their post may not be directed them at all – but at yourself.

Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?” Exercise is probably an essential part of this friend’s life and it weighs very much on his/her mind. Maybe those miles were hard fought or the gym time barely fit in the schedule – fitness gives that person a sense of accomplishment and self worth. It’s okay if you don’t share that priority – but don’t deny it of someone else.

Many people use fitness posts to keep themselves accountable and to track workouts. If your persistent fitness poster is truly your friend, why would you be annoyed at such commitment and diligence?

I confess, I’ve found myself frustrated by constant fitness posts even though I’ve been known to make them myself. Usually, my frustration occurs when I feel like I should be out moving instead of sitting and, well, staring at Facebook. Can you say, “guilt,” or, “jealousy?”

People’s fitness posts can be a source of inspiration – sometimes I head out for a dreaded workout or complete another mile because I see other people have done it. If they can, so can I.

And, don’t forget, you can always unfriend or block those posts if they truly annoy you. You have a choice not to read them.

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2 Responses

  1. Amanda on 17 Jul 2012

    I’ve seen status updates passive aggressively lobbed from fitness posters toward diaper contents posters and the other way around.

    I think the thing a lot of us forget is that FB is used for the satisfaction of the author as much as it is for the audience. I think your perspective that it might be about someone’s own guilt is pretty interesting.

  2. Trax on 18 Jul 2012

    I guess I am a little more basic. Recognitionn of accomplisment by self & others serves a fundamental if not primal need of realization. Yeah, I did it, what a relief to get rid of that flab, get my cholestrol levels normal, and not feel like a packed sausage when I put on my jeans!

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