The beauty of an app like Timehop is looking into the past and seeing your social media and stored memories. Some of those memories are wonderful, much like the ones I had from last year as I was preparing to fly to Arizona, meet Sarah at her Air Force base, and get married.
Some of those memories are harsher, such as the ones when I was going off on pointless public rants about something that annoyed me.
I will readily admit that I grow weary and tired of social media but in my world it is a necessary evil. I am also slightly addicted to it because it is that necessary evil and I use it to keep in touch with friends and also to grow my online business and physical gym. There is a cost to pay with using it and there are days when that cost takes it toll on my psyche.
I’ve lost friends because of perceptions of me, and me of them. I’ve lost friends because of political opinions. I have looked at the fitness industry with a jaded eye as I see echo chambers forming of the same ideas tossed around between peers as if it’s something new and exciting. The same could be said for any business, but honestly I don’t exist in other businesses, I exist in this one.
When I scroll through my feed I hope to see more puppy pics, life achievements, happy couples, smiling kids, and personal accomplishments rather than yet another cliche post on carbs are carbs, CICO, a repost of a political article, yet another Jordan Peterson debate, or someone with a massive first world issue complaining about how someone eats or trains.
But the world I live in is going to be that way as people like me get older and realize that parroting the same thing over and over to the same crowd of people is as pointless as throwing paper into the wind, but the younger trainers need to learn that on their own.
What is the fine line between reality and social media? Where does it start and end? I am not sure but I do know that we all evolve over time, much like I did.
My past of anger turned into a present of happiness and a future that I am excited for.
I find myself being less caring about what others do around me but here is the caveat… certain things STILL bother me about this industry and I have to find a solution within me to not let them bother me. There is my dilemma, the how.
Some days it affects me, some days it doesn’t. Some days I can scroll through the feeds for a few minutes and ignore the noise, some days the noise is all I see. How to find that middle ground in a mentality that was built for extremes? That is a challenge and I sometimes fail badly at it.
At the Fitness Summit this year, my wife and I were talking with Alan Aragon privately, who I do consider a very good friend, and he was saying to us, “I am pushing for you both to speak here next year”.
I replied, very paraphrased as my exact words will never be 100% correct on paper, “she deserves it, she’s damn good at what she does, I don’t give a shit about speaking at this thing”.
He looked at me a little puzzled and I explained:
“None of these people here will pay my bills, none of this will help my career. Same for you, I don’t give a shit if you like my work or hate my work, your opinion of me means nothing to me, but your friendship does. You are a friend because I like you not because of what you can do for me. What you do means jack shit to how I view you as a friend, so when you give me professional courtesy, I do appreciate it greatly, but it means little as to how I view you as a friend”.
He nodded his head and understood.
To some that comes off as a little harsh I suppose, but to me it makes perfect sense.
That is how I need to view this business on the whole. Who is a friend, who is noise, who are the people I can work with, who are the people that won’t ever work with me, who can I value, who can I trust?
When I think about what I said to Alan at the Fitness Summit last month, it is something I have to remind myself every single day as I navigate fitpro social media land. A lot of it is noise, but what I value is what I value. If I work to minimize the noise even more, I have less days of weariness and more days of focus.
This falls on me because this is my fault if I let anyone else’s actions or words influence how I think and feel, nothing more and nothing less. We all have to follow our own paths and my path was quite twisting over the years, but as my path becomes more straight lined focused, that is when the need to eliminate the noise becomes more apparent.
When you are chaotic, chaos feeds it. When you are goal oriented, chaos is your nemesis.
Oh, and about Alan – I contributed to his AARR this month in a roundtable on overtraining. So I guess he understood what I meant when I bluntly told him about how I view our friendship.
Back to work I go, the gym opens at 5:30am tomorrow and I have an epic week ahead of me.
Here’s to turning down the noise and turning up the music.
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