“Hey, I know I must be getting pretty annoying posting all my run stuff all the time, so I’ve created this other page where I’ll be posting it. If you want to, give my new page a follow…”


I’ve read that post, or posts like it, from dozens of my fitness enthusiast friends over the past few years. They create social media pages, blogs, or groups for the sole purpose of hiding their fitness life from the rest of the world. I get that they’re trying to be unobtrusive and not alienate friends, but you won’t catch me doing the same thing. I intend to remain a fitness extrovert, and for good reason.


First, why should you filter the good things in your life for the benefit of others’ comfort? It’s not as if that one friend of yours from high school is going to stop posting vaguely racist, political memes. Or that the new parents on your friends’ list are going to ease up on giving the play-by-play every time their progeny places a bowel movement in an appropriate receptacle. Why should you filter your run stats or CrossFit photos for their benefit?


And all those people you’re worried about annoying? They’re the same people who need to see what you’re posting. They’re annoyed because your continued flaunting of your athletic prowess (however humble it may seem) confronts them with their lack of effort to match you. They’re annoyed because they know they should be doing something about the pronounced lack of anything sweat-inducing in their lives, but they lack the intestinal fortitude to go get it done.


If they’re annoyed, let them be. Maybe it will eventually coax them into the actions that will improve, or even save their lives.


What has curbed tobacco use in the United States? Was it the taxes, or the prohibitive laws? The constant preaching about the health risks? No. It was the social movement against the practice that turned the tide. People stopped smoking because it was no longer cool. Society finally realized (rightly) that it’s a disgusting, self-destructive habit (and I should know). Smokers became gradually marginalized, even in places like bars and bowling alleys. Yes, legislation had something to do with it as well, but that was the result of the social movement, not the origin of it.


So it must be when it comes to solving the health crises facing America. Proper nutrition and fitness must become a part of the cultural fabric of the country, if we hope to solve the problems that are literally killing us.


Keep talking about your fitness pursuits. Do it unabashedly and often. Not because it makes you exceptional, not because you want to brag, but because it should be normal. And the more we all keep talking about it, the more normal it will seem, and the more people will get on board.


Take pride in all of your fitness endeavors:

The Athlete's Manifesto


Headline photo courtesy of Jeff Nguyen Photography/CrossFit Empirical.