For the past 6 or so years, I’ve been logging my workouts on DailyMile, which is kind of like Facebook for fitness people. Instead of clogging my FB feed with my workouts – one of The Most Annoying Facebook Activities! – I took it somewhere else, where there are other people training for things, too.
It’s been great – through DM, I’ve actually met real people through the computer who have turned into good friends. It’s similar to how blogging was 10 years ago, actually – every one of my posts gets comments, and I get to follow other people’s stories – other people like me, who log their workouts daily. And even better, between writing in my journal and writing about my workouts on DM, I’d actually feel like I was writing on a daily basis.
Over the winter, though, when it was busy, I stopped commenting on a lot of other people’s workouts. And on the weekends, whenever I’d come in from a long bike ride and then a run, I just wanted to eat and shower, and then I felt pressure to spend time with my family, not log a workout and putter around.
So with this reading and social media break, I decided to stop logging my workouts there, too. It’s been freeing, in a lot of respects – just really nice to do a workout and come home and not have to find words to write about it. I can use that energy to find the words for my story, or maybe actually blog, instead of using my writing time for workout posts.
But then I went onto the site today, and I saw I had zero comments. I haven’t logged a workout there in almost a week, and no one has commented or wondered where I am.
And I was surprised to find myself feeling hurt by it. Wow, I’ve logged my workouts religiously for the past 6 years. Have they even noticed I’m gone?
Which, automatically, I told myself that I wasn’t posting on DM for comments, it was for myself. Because it’s the one place that has 6 years worth of ideas and feelings about my workouts and documents my evolution as an athlete. It’s not about the comments, Karen. It’s about so much more!
But the thing is?
It IS about the comments.
As much as I want to say I write only for myself, that’s not the truth. If I wanted to write only for myself, I’d keep a workout journal that would never see the light of day. Instead, I put my words in a place where people can actually see them. As a writer, I actually want to know they’re not just hanging out there, dangling in the breeze; I want my words to have purpose.
And I can’t help drawing a parallel to blogging and why I feel like I have such a hard time writing in this space sometimes. There are so many words out there, so much content, so much to read, so many voices out there, shouting their opinions.
Do my words really matter? Or am I being self-involved, adding to the noise of words that are out there already?
And am I being self-involved, wanting my words to actually reach someone’s ears? Can’t I just put them out there without needing them to have purpose? Take it on faith?
So yes, it really is – and isn’t – about the comments.
Do you ever wonder if your words are being heard?