Before cell phone apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, runners didn’t truly have an interactive digital space to share their continued fitness journeys.
Back in the day, you could have asked a friend or family member to tag along and capture sweaty, successful images of you with some type of camera – maybe even one of those disposable 35-millimeter ones you took to a drugstore – and then, after an hour or so, had them developed. Then, you’d take those colorful 5×7 or 4×6 photos, scan them into your computer and e-mailed them (don’t forget to ‘CC’ your whole family!) to dozens of supporters!
Even when popular photo sharing websites like Snapfish, Photobucket, and Shutterfly debut, it was a bit of a process to upload and share your photos and galleries. Recording your running moments, without the option of instantaneously posting your “status,” was the norm – but very different back then!
Today we’re fortunate enough to live in a tech-obsessed world where we can take a break mid-run, snap a sweaty photo of ourselves or capture screenshots of our mapped trails – along with mileage – and upload them in seconds for hundreds to see. You can even share a live video from wherever you’re running and provide a mini-tour of your stomping grounds.
Runners who are obsessed with snapping pics of their environment, motivational thoughts, and training techniques should be proud! There are so many reasons why sharing your running endeavors on social media can be inspirational to others and serve as an interactive digital scrapbook that will help you and your networks, for years to come.
Runners are a unique breed of athletes – our biggest competition as we’re training is usually ourselves! We want to beat our own time, go faster, go farther, and prove that our hard work is paying off.
When you finally finish that long run with no stops or you’ve finally covered terrain that was a challenge in the past, the feeling of accomplishment is emotional, mental and physical. Celebrating your ability to overcome obstacles by sharing your journey with others can serve as a refreshing digital footprint and a reminder to keep going. You may find that reflecting on those milestones in a few weeks/months will give you a reason to aim for higher goals when you can celebrate your next feat!
Even Non-Runners Can Benefit From Your Energy
Maybe you’re the only runner you know on social media…Maybe your family and friends are simply there to support you and have no interest in the sport.
Running changes our personalities and can teach us to be strong, stay focused, think positive, and learn how to handle life’s various challenges. Holding onto that amazing energy and sharing it on social media can be beneficial to your social circle – especially with negative news streaming into the feeds.
If you’re the kind of runner who has epiphanies and moments of enlightenment/positiveness, sharing those emotional discoveries – without getting too personal or specific – can affect others in unequivocal ways. Even if your friends/family members are too old to run or have a physical disability/challenge, your “go-get-’em!” energy could infect them with great spirits when they need it the most!
Keep Them In The Know As You Grow
You’ve already posted a couple of photos and screenshots of your running accomplishments at the beginning of the year – maybe even a few race photos and finish line shots where you just made it without collapsing! If you did collapse – and you have photos of that heart-wrenching and exhausting moment – you may still look back fondly at that memory and think about how it molded you into a stronger athlete!
Towards the middle of the year, as you commit to posting more photos, you’re acing those competitions and find yourself reflecting on so many improvements in your form, abilities, and stamina.
Where will you be in a year from now? Two years? Will you be training for a marathon? Social media galleries are a great place to watch yourself grow – they’re also ideal platforms for others to see your transformation.
There may be friends and family who haven’t seen you in years and social media is the one place they can view your detailed journey. Maybe you made new friends who don’t even know about your burgeoning passion. As you become stronger, social media is helping you tell a story about different aspects of your personal and physical growth.
Were you once overweight and inactive? If you’ve decided to turn your life around and start your own weight-loss program by running every few days, recording your road to a healthier life can help you stay accountable when you know others are rooting for you. Of course, you don’t always need cheerleaders rooting you on as the scale numbers drop, but you may find yourself connecting with others who want to know how you achieved your fitness goals.
Sometimes The Saying Is True: “Haters Are Gonna Hate”
As with any information that goes viral on social media, someone out there is going to bad-mouth or react in a condescending manner about your efforts at spreading positive vibes throughout your running journey. There may be one or two people who grow tired of seeing you “check in” at the local park every day to log in your activities. There will also be friends and family who aren’t as supportive as you hoped – and there may even be some envious stalkers in your social circle who don’t “like” your updates for various reasons.
Don’t let the haters discourage you from posting that last run when you just trekked through several community parks in under one hour. While social media is awesome for spreading the word, it could translate to some people as “bragging” or “showing off” when, in reality, they could be envious and jealous that they don’t have the same physical motivation.
Don’t get discouraged by those who don’t understand your passions! You can also exclusively target those who will support your love of running (and congratulate you all the time!). Creating social media pages and photo galleries designed/targeted specifically for the athletic community will connect you with like-minded athletes who don’t view your posting as “just another running update.”
No matter where you share your journey or who you share it with – post away and be proud! You’ll leave remarkable footprints behind and goals to accomplish ahead.