Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Be confident in your decisions
A recent dove advert made me think about the effects of social media on individuals on the receiving end of photo's from their counterparts, inspirations, or idols.
Race season approaches... summer. You want to be in peak shape to perform at your best. But this is a really important time to be really careful with how you go about it.
It's common to see a lot of the pro's or people you look up to in peak shape, doing massive sessions and looking skeletal or being the leanest specimen you've ever seen. But you need to take all of this with a pinch of salt, and realise that it's not always as it seems:
Now i'm not suggesting that people are editing their photo's to portray themselves in a certain way on social media... but we are all culprits of using social media as a highlight reel. There are very few people who focus on the negative parts of their journey.
So when you see these elite athletes doing massive sessions and being lean... just bear in mind that this isn't their day to day / week to week state of affairs. You have to look at everything in context, and without context, things shouldn't be taken for fact or assumed.
It's easy to assume that elite athletes have massive training sessions day in day out, but in reality it's a case of carefully curated sessions and loading throughout the week to ensure a controlled and precise approach to training that reduces the risk of injury or illness.
So in short, don't aspire to do or be like an instagram highlight reel. Ensure you're doing what's right for you in every situation and that you're getting the most out of yourself. What's the point of being lean if you can't train as you got injured, ill or are just simply too tired... and therefore can't make a start line...
It's like they always say ... it's better to be 90% fit and able to race than 100% fit and injured.
Of course, it's easy to say this... and don't get me wrong, i've fallen foul to this many a time... but I guess this is a reminder to myself as well as you: make sure you're considering what you consume online within it's whole context (which is difficult in itself)... otherwise you could become a cropper or just be unhappy when you deserve to be. Don't be fooled into thinking that people are in peak shape 365 days of the year. They tend to fluctuate and optimise for a few races a year.
Take care, enjoy what you do, and be happy!