I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved with the internet almost since inception in the late 90’s. As you can imagine, I’ve seen it all. Early websites through to modern websites, webcasts, podcasts, interactive sites, forums, content management systems, discussion groups and social networks. I’ve viewed/designed/used all of these methods as part of my work or general interest over the years.
Where am I going with this exactly? I’d like to think that 99% of everything I post online in the fitness niche is positive (and I’m working on the other 1%!) Whether it be resourceful, insightful, helpful, motivational or intended to inspire others my motive is always to encourage. The gift I receive in return? It inspires me immensely to see the progress of other people. I enjoy a bit of competitive spirit along the way too. Doing all this at the cost of my own time and money is something I enjoy. I believe it to be something I was meant to do in terms of using my design & internet skills along with my desire for fitness. All of this helps me to keep in shape so it is well worth the effort.
All that being said, just like with the training I know what I know now because I have made mistakes. On the very rare occasion, I’ve been embroiled and snared into arguments and topics which I needn’t have been involved in at all. You learn quickly that there tends to be a lot of aliases, internet warriors, dormant snipers and otherwise online. Don’t get me wrong, some of my mistakes have been of my own doing. What this has told me is to keep my focus on what it is I’m trying to achieve and use the rest as a term I’m going to call ‘gym fuel’.
An objective discussion can be great sometimes but the minute a group or forum on the internet starts kicking off, I’d advise anyone who reads this to think hard and use it as gym fuel instead. Sometimes it can be a skill to leave things alone and not say anything at all, especially if nobody can benefit from what you have to say. I’ve learned this the hard way. Sometimes these things get personal and really needn’t be said. Sound familiar? I actually use this for other areas of my lifestyle too. If someone pisses you off at work…use it as gym fuel. You are cut up at the traffic lights….gym fuel, someone kicks off in a social network group and calls you…gym fuel. You get the picture! A 5 minute argument could be better spent doing 2 sets of deadlifts! A ten minute argument doing a bit of HIIT on a treadmill. A half an hour argument….heck I could nearly fit in a session of Asylum Vertical Plyo in that time!
I’ve met some great people online. Some of them have become dear friends of mine. This is great but not my primary purpose. I’m in this for the fitness and always will be. The minute a discussion, group or random person adversely affects my efforts in the gym I’m simply not interested in them any more…that is once I’ve used them as gym fuel and squeezed out a heavier weight or a few more reps! I don’t even dislike these people, they simply become irrelevant to me. In an ideal world I’ll become friends with most of the people I discuss workouts and nutrition with online. I’ll even help them if they decide they don’t like me but will listen to my fitness advice. As I mentioned, that is not the purpose of hooking up in the first place. There’s all too much social suffering in this contemporary society. We are in this for the fitness folks, so in the event of such an instance;
you guys can argue all you like….meanwhile I’ll be in the gym