My social media behaviour has been very uncharacteristic as of late — I've been sharing a glimpse of my at-home workout routine.
Besides some pictures of a pool's glassy surface or a boomerang of my shoes hitting the pavement, I don't regularly document my own fitness journey in great detail on social media.
To be totally honest, sharing it doesn't usually pop into my head. But, when I have snapped a sweaty selfie, actually posting it makes me feel a little uncomfortable — even though I'm truly proud of myself.
I find this all rather ironic because I love following fitness content, am the absolute happiest while I'm exercising, write about fitness on the daily, and have been an athlete since the age of 6.
So, why does sharing my fitness relationship on social media — a platform where I've also shared my greatest accomplishments and personal struggles — feel so foreign?
I started exploring these anxious feelings after — surprise — deciding to share my journey of a fitness challenge on Instagram. I talked it out with a friend and came to a few conclusions.
As a longtime swimmer, phone-less exercise has been a part of my routine for years. Unless I wanted a waterlogged phone, I had to lock it away when I worked out — therefore, staying offline during my workouts is something of a habit.
For me, fitness is also an unplugged escape; a moment free of mindless scrolling (or comparing) where I'm alone with my thoughts and feelings. It's the most precious private time, and I'm an introvert through and through.
Whether it's a run through the woods or a 30-minute HIIT session in my bedroom, I've used off-the-grid exercise as a chance to simply cry, work through stress, bask in happiness, and find peace in the present — all of which can be fairly difficult to tackle while down an Instagram rabbit hole.
But, because I'm committed to a social media fitness challenge, I've started posting tidbits of my routine, and I've learned a few surprising things along the way.
Sharing workouts and fitness inspiration has allowed me to connect and reconnect with friends, something I'm very thankful for now that we're all social distancing.
We've motivated one another, and I've discovered new (and free) online streaming services, talented instructors, and superpositive fitness accounts thanks to recommendations. By opening up on Instagram, I've created a small community I can count on for advice and support.
Most importantly, I've discovered that social media isn't all or nothing. If I feel like sharing my workouts, great! If I don't, that's fine, too. My fitness routine doesn't dictate my social media routine — and vice versa.