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Moderation is a wonderful concept, it just isn’t one that I subscribe to in moderation.
I had a professor once who used to tell us that if you train properly and with the right progression, you could avoid soreness and DOMS. I have yet to consistently achieve that balance; there is always that one workout every few weeks or so that leaves me hobbling or unable to lift my arms up. While it would be highly convenient to achieve that perfect balance, I sure would miss the hilarity that comes with trying to walk up and down a stair case the morning after leg day. Case in point: I took three weeks off from working out (more on that below). My first day back in the gym, I did a killer leg workout that I probably had no business doing. It felt so amazing at the time, but now almost 4 days later, I’m still hobbling around and not so sure it was a great idea.
The rest of my life seems to follow a similar pattern. I’m either all in, or somewhere else completely. I don’t condone this behavior of course, but after almost 32 years, it is a bad habit that can’t be denied, and something I’m trying to work on.
Being what I guess is considered a “sort-of-semi-professional” blogger (we’ll get back to that topic too…) I’m often told that taking a two (and then some) week from blogging, short of some sort of emergency, is considered a no-no. Page views, content, social media presence; it is a never ending battle. Every little thing you do or say online is your resume, because people are watching. It’s exhausting. I often joke that my blog is like my “third child”, but the reality is… it isn’t.
My “unplugged” world has taken precedence over sharing my random treadmill musings and what sort of Christmas treats I’ve consumed (for the record, it was all of them. I ate all of the Christmas treats.) Instead of writing, I assembled Legos. Instead of the running streak, I was on a coloring book streak. Instead of lifting, I was laughing at the contagious giggles of one 5 year old caused by the the fart machine from “Despicable Me 2” that my sister was so kind to give her nephews for Christmas (please note the tiniest twinge of sarcasm, haha.) I’ve been busy with the little things in life that quite frankly, mean far more to me than page views.
But Christmas vacation is over, and I’m back in front of the computer screen.
And I’m not so sure I want to be.
I did a lot of thinking during our Christmas road trips, and between contemplating how a cruise ship could be so close to the interstate that I could see passengers as we passed by in our car (hello, Baltimore!) and reminiscing of the days of the Jennifer Lopez/Puff Daddy duo (and whatever happened to Ma$e?) , I thought about this blog. And writing in general.
And how in the world writing about fitness has taken precedence over actual fitness in my life.
You see, I started this blog years and years ago because I like to tell stories, and get on the occasional soap box. Luckily I gave last nights rant on the ridiculousness of the HCG diet to Geoff, a coworker, and a few patrons at the gym, so you are all temporarily spared from that one. I went to school to pursue a career in exercise science with the intentions of helping bring fitness into people’s lives. While many of my peers were completing their bachelors degree with plans of heading on to physical therapy or medical school, I simply wanted to work hands on with people as a personal trainer. It is what I love, it is what I am passionate about. I welcomed the opportunity to use this blog and my writing as another platform to spread that word.
I also welcomed, and have always been incredibly grateful for, the opportunities that have come along with having this blog. Unfortunately, somewhere along this journey, the line between using my writing as a platform, and my writing being the sole platform, has become blurred. I took on other writing responsibilities outside of this blog. I found myself sitting in front of this lap top day after day stressing about content, about page views, about social media following…I had lost the concept of “moderation”. All or nothing, baby. What can I write about that hasn’t been said a thousand times over? How can I promote this product that I thought I would like, but actually mildly dislike, and now I’m contractually obligated to post about it? Why do I even bother putting my education to use on this blog while other “fitness” bloggers with no credentials post pictures of their daily Starbucks and get ten times as many page hits? While writing about the numerous emotional and physical benefits of exercise, I developed anxiety, gained weight, lost my voice, started comparing myself to others, and developed a case of sciatica from sitting all in front of the computer all day.
When you are more interested in page views than content, it becomes an issue of integrity. When the content you preach doesn’t match the life you live, then it becomes an issue of hypocrisy. This is not the path I intended to be on.
Along with the perfect timing of a much needed Christmas vacation with my family, came a new opportunity. As I mentioned about a month ago, I’m working in a gym once again. I forgot how very much I love the atmosphere of being in a fitness facility as an employee. I forgot how much I love working with beginners, or how much I love sharing my exercise knowledge with other fitness enthusiasts. I love teaching people new things, I love sharing my enthusiasm for fitness and for life, I love to inspire others to find that same enthusiasm for themselves. And I love doing it in person, instead of only from behind a computer screen.
Please don’t get me wrong, this is not an end to my writing. Instead, simply a much needed reevaluation of why I am doing what I am doing, and if it is truly taking me in the right direction. So I do apologize for the unannounced blog hiatus, but rest assured, I’ll be back…just a little different this time.
Everything in moderation: except for being true to yourself. Give that all you’ve got.