Tag Archives: Facebook

2017 Prep Update: Day 100

Day 100 was last Sunday.


An interesting, unsettling, and maybe a bit impulsive decision was made on Day 100…

Facebook deactivation.

I know – so what?  Who cares? (Is it ego to wonder if anyone noticed?  Probably.  Is it ego to write about it?  Definitely.)  It’s not a statement about social media – I’m obviously still involved since I’m writing this blog post.   I had to find a work-around to keep the Lifting My Spirits page up and plan to keep posting there. Thought about taking a hiatus from that page, too, but it has a purpose and the people who comment there are amazing. They inspire me.

I think I’ve been getting ready for this for some time.  Had a privacy violation a couple years ago that bled into real life.  I stopped accepting friend requests from people I didn’t know and have been posting less.  I’ve been more careful.  I’ve “unliked” or “unfollowed” pages that posted things that yanked my chain.  Deactivating for a time could be the next step in that process.

I like how it has forced some changes in my head the last couple of days.  It’s quiet in here.   I love my job, love the kids, but I am an introvert and working with full classes of teenagers all day drains me a bit.  I’m working about 55 hours a week, training, and I’m working on earning some CEU credits I need to renew my teaching license next year.   My plate is always too full.  (Figuratively, not literally.)  I started paying attention to things I did away from work that recharged my batteries and what cause my brain to spin.  I deactivated Instagram last year.  It took a few days to get out of that habit, but it felt good to share less.  I’ve been on Facebook a lot longer and this feels like I just fell off the planet.  It’s going to be a hard habit to break, but a good thing for me to have less external input in my day.

It’s hard, though.  I don’t want to lose touch with people, so I need to make a new habit to stay in contact.  Learned that Messenger still works and that’s a relief.  Fits my personality better to have private conversations, anyway.  This may be a temporary decision – when my prep is done and I have a little less on my figurative plate and more on my real one, I’ll probably activate it.  It does feel weird.  How did we do this before??  We didn’t even have email growing up.  Were we just…quiet?  The fact that it feels like I’m in withdrawal just confirms that it’s a good thing for me to do.

Whatever…what about bodybuilding??

Training went well this last week.  Got a PR on leg extension this morning.  Coming off the deload week, my loads were scheduled to increase.  Hamstring feels better, but the ankle below it is still tight.  Seems like the hamstring healing up might be pulling on everything below it.  I plan to do more stretching in that area.

Less walking needs to happen since my feet are feeling beat up.  We have a 20-year old recumbent bike at home.  Most years, it was out in the patio.  It’s weathered and a bit beat up.  This adorable puppy has used a pedal as a chew toy when she was working through separation anxiety.  It still pedals, so it’s all good.  Jump on there for a bit on days when my normal activity was low.  We’ve had many of those days here the last few weeks thanks to some winter weather.

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Oh, and weight is still dropping, but not fast.  Much more scale bouncing these days, which is expected.  So far, over the last 100 days I’ve lost about 12 pounds, give or take a daily bounce.  Stage weight goal is in another 13 pounds.  If I make it, this stage will be 4 lbs lighter than last one.  It probably won’t be easy to get there, but it’s part of the game.  The reverse diet out of this one will be just as hard.

So that’s my update for Day 100.

Recap…

  • Training is good.
  • I’m now a hermit.

 

 

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Filed under Contest Prep, Life

Hey Tammy! Pay Attention!!!

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to pay attention when strange, random, seemingly unrelated events start happening.  Here’s a list of the really odd things that happened this last week…

Sunday was my birthday.  Hubby made it really nice.  Humbled and grateful for the hundreds of birthday wishes I received on Facebook and Instagram.  On my personal page, I “liked” and thanked each one.   The next day, I realized that no one from my bodybuilding team wished me a happy birthday.  (I’m friends with about two dozen on Facebook and I’ve met a few in real life.)  That’s OK.  I guess I’m not such a good friend – a little used to that since I’m an introvert and I suck at being a good friend to a lot of people.  My time online is usually spent uploading content and managing the pages.  I don’t interact with people personally very often.  But on Facebook, birthdays aren’t something we have to remember – it tells us.  So no one from my team?  Really?  That stuck out as a thing.  Why is that something I noticed?  Why is it important?  A sign to reflect.

On the LMS FB page this week, I had to delete and ban a couple of guys.  One who LOVES me (he capitalized it, not me), but started to lecture me on why I shouldn’t have muscles.  Definitely putting out the vibe that I should care that he would love me more if I were locked in a basement.  The other appears to be using pictures of my feet for his personal porn.  Just add it to the list.  There is a guy in the middle east somewhere who wants me to carry him around like a baby.  No.  No.  NO.

More signs.

I have a general habit of unfollowing pages on FB and IG occasionally when I don’t like what they are posting at that time.  It’s not my business to tell them how to do things.  I expect people unfollow me for the same reasons – again – none of my business.  But this particular “unfollow” click  de-evolved into an unpleasant confrontation with two young women on my own IG page.  Under my “it’s my birthday” post even.  Not getting into the details of it.  Nothing about it made me think less of these ladies.  It was just a thing.  And it was just another sign.

My last blog post was about feeling old.  By Friday of this week, I felt older and more out of place in the social media fitness world.  Super weirdness – the clocks at school this week weren’t working properly.  At least once a day, the minute hand would start sweeping like the second hand.  Feeling old, watching time sweep by like that…I couldn’t help but see it as a metaphor for how life is passing by so much faster now.  You seriously have to admit that was weird – had to be a sign.

Yesterday morning, when I felt confused/sad/beat up/tired on the inside, I was standing in the hall outside my classroom smiling and greeting students.  Three former students walked over to say hello and a couple wanted hugs.  Over the course of the day, I heard from many former students.  Randomly.  That’s a big sign.

So what is going on?  Not sure yet.  But here are  my thoughts about these signs this morning…

  1. It would seem like I’m supposed to shift focus from social media to something else.  I would rather write. And Hubby and I have talked about other projects that we want to do, but I haven’t made time.
  2. The birthday thing is the most petty, but it does bug me. I could just be feeling “introvert-weird” at the moment.  Need more time to sort that out.
  3. The part of my social media involvement that I don’t want to give up is the part that appeals to me as a teacher.  It’s this blog.  I’ve neglected it, but I think it’s time to do this thing how I started – just document on the blog.  I never set out to be a public figure.  You’d be hard pressed to find anything I’ve ever posted where I said “I want to inspire people”.  However, I’m humbled when I hear that has happened.  I see it as a blessing.  Perhaps something I posted was someone else’s sign.  That feels a bit bigger than me and I’m not taking that for granted.  I know what you might be thinking – I started it.  I know.  I started it when I sent my before/after picture to Siouxcountry back in Dec 2012, but I never expected what has happened since.  Remember – I’m an introvert and the attention is NOT comfortable.  It’s amazing, I don’t understand it, I’m grateful, but it’s not comfortable.
  4. My trust in the basic decency of humans has been violated one too many times – thanks to Mr. Bunion Fetish Guy.  (You’re creepy and weird, btw.)  I know many people are going to think that this is just part of being online.  Yes.  Absolutely right.  But I control my life.  My real life right here. right now, in real time where I breathe air and do stuff.  I decide how I’m going to be treated.  I don’t WANT to grow a thicker skin.  I’m not even sure I’m capable of doing that, considering how my brain is wired as a highly-sensitive introvert.  I don’t like being distracted.  I’m too old to waste time with BS.  (Some of the weird love/hate thrown at me has caused my husband and I to worry about my personal safety at times.)   If this is something that is part of the online experience, I can fix it easily – I won’t be online.
  5. What is constant, what I can control, is my work ethic.  Training is going well.  I’m recovering well even though I’m doing a minicut.  My plan is to compete again summer 2017 and my trajectory appears to be for an improved, more competitive physique at that time.  That’s my goal.  That’s my motivation.  How I share this process is the question, isn’t it?

First thing this morning, I deactivated my Instagram account.  Didn’t delete it.  Just put it away for now.  Everything posted there is on the LMS Facebook page anyway.

Not sure what’s next.  Just want the time to figure that out.

None of this changes what’s important.  I’m a wife.  I’m a teacher.  I’m a bodybuilder.  So I’ll do what I do anytime signs are flying at me like this – I put my head down and lean into it.  Home.  Teach.  Train.  Take care of what’s important.

I need to write a funny blog pretty soon. Too damn serious around here lately.

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Filed under Life, Opinions, Venting, Ranting

50 Weeks Out

The goal this week was to get my new classroom pulled together just enough so that I can start working with kids next week.  My new school is doing a summer jump start program for kids who might need a little refresher to get off to a good start.  It’s just a couple hours in the mornings for four days.  The actual school year doesn’t start until August 11th.  I’m not finished, but there is room for kids to sit down, I can use my desk, and I have a pretty good idea where things are at.  I’ll deal with the rest – recover bulletin boards, unpack more boxes, organize my desk – next week after the munchkins go home.

The fun part of going through all this stuff I’ve saved for so many years is that I’m finding things I can use in middle school.  I found a baggie full of laminated fraction cards!  No use for those in calculus, but I will be able to use them in 7th grade math.  I found old games and activities I haven’t used in years.  I’m excited.  I’m certain there will be challenges.  I’ll handle them as they come up.

Started using my new wheels!  I don’t have far to go – a couple miles.  If I take the shortest route, the ride is uphill for the first mile.  It is a HIIT for the first 15 min and easy going for the last 5 min.  Perfect on days I want a HIIT.  If I go the longer route to avoid the steep climb, there is still an incline, but it is longer and not as steep.  That route takes me about 25 min.  Coming home is a breeze – all down hill!

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Lifting is… uneventful.  I was able to do what needed to be done.  To be honest, I’m really, really bored with this program.  There is only a week of it left assuming my coach has the next phase ready to go shortly after we talk.   I’ve made the workout with push-ups more interesting by changing the variations.  This is what I did today after nine sets of bench press…

This was part of an upper body volume workout.  Afterwards, I snapped a pic of my arms and decided to compare them to my last two shows.  2012, 2013, 2014 in that order.  It’s so hard for me to see anything with that layer of fluff on me, but I have to believe there is progress here.  It’s been two years, after all.

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My moods continue to swing.  (I wonder if I should track this?)  It’s been like this most of the summer.  Pretty blue today.  I don’t think it’s due to one thing.  There have been some pretty nasty real-life stressors in our lives since February.  Hubby and I keep each other going by reminding each other to live in the moment.  Our “normal” has changed and it’s just a matter of getting acclimated to it.  I always get a little anxious as a new school year approaches.  This one is a big one – new school, new level, new everything.  I have a steep learning curve that will last all year.   I’ve been told that I can’t have a fridge in my room, which is a drag.  I used to cook a week’s worth of stuff and store it in my room.  That simplified my food prep a lot because I didn’t have to deal with bringing food each day.  So now my food prep routine will need to change, too.

So the new stressors, the new school – all weighs on me when I’m in the world dealing with life.  At the gym, I can forget for a bit.  Yesterday, Hubby and I drove an hour, took a short hike up a mountain in high desert terrain, turned a corner and found this waterfall oasis…

It was an amazing thing to find because we are having a severe drought this summer.  Secluded and peaceful.  We both felt rejuvenated.  We will need to find a quiet spot with trees and water that is closer to home.  We have a plan for exactly where that will be.  There is a lovely, large park not far from us.  Hubby likes to do photography there.

I’ve been thinking about ways to simplify my life again.  Changing schools was one big change to make life simpler.  Now, I’m looking at how I use social media.   I want to keep blogging.  It’s how I process things and how I document my journey.  I think I will do less direct posting on the LMS facebook page.  Most days, I just don’t feel I have anything to offer.  In real life, I am a wife and a teacher and both of those things have always been more important, and both require more of my time now.  Anyone who has a page knows it’s more work than people expect and there is a certain amount of drama.  I can’t handle either right now.   I expect learning how to be a middle school teacher is going to take a lot of energy.

 

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Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Life, Teaching, Videos

Bodybuilding Trolls

This sport is weird – it’s competitive, but you aren’t really competing against anyone.  You compete with yourself.  I’ve only been lifting for four years now, but only two years when I first stepped on stage.  I had hopes, but as soon as I was backstage and saw the other competitors, I knew I should not place well.   In the two shows I’ve done, my class was small, so no matter what, I was guaranteed a top three finish and a trophy.  The reality is that I didn’t have to work at all to get one of those trophies.  “Old” me could have paid to play and brought one home.

I’m proud of my girls, though.  I may not have been competitive, but I wasn’t out of shape.  I worked very hard, was disciplined, and spent a lot of $$$ on training/coaching to get ready.  I took it seriously and I followed through.  I just hadn’t done it long enough.

But despite my small size, when the picture went viral, there were nasty things said.  I thought they were funny, actually, but I paid attention to which page administrators where monitoring and which weren’t.  I don’t self-promote outside of my own corner of the Internet.  That just invites trolls and their drama.

Had a quick conversation with a male pro I respect today at the gym.   Great guy – very smart and generous.  And like many who have a large presence in social media, he’s been getting hit a lot by trolls.

Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl//ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I read negative, critical comments made about a competitor’s progress, methodology, whatever.  These people take cheap shots when they really have no intellectual ammunition to spare.  I want to tell these trolls to “put your butt in posing suit and get up on stage, have your physique judged, and THEN let’s discuss your lame point”.

If you train to compete, your ego takes a beating regularly.  If I’m going to be honest, that’s one of the reasons I love this sport.  It forces me to do things I’m afraid to do.  After I lost the first 40 pounds badly (diet and cardio only) because I was too afraid to do anything else, I found my courage, declared the intention to compete, and hired a trainer.  When I told him I wanted to compete in two years, he replied “Two years? Yes.  Not in one.”  Honesty is what I needed and respected.   From that point on, I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do to the best of my ability.  I’ve screwed up.  I’ve been tired.  I’ve been sore.  I’ve gotten hurt.  But I never quit.  I won’t quit.

And that is the attitude of every competitor I know.

I’m going to assume the trolls are taking shots because their egos are just too fragile.

 

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Filed under Competing, Opinions, Venting, Ranting

Introvert Eats Ego

I know.  I know.  I KNOW!  But sometimes, I can’t help it.

Despite appearances – blog, a Facebook page, competing, I am an introvert.  I don’t interact with many people online or in person.  When I do explore and see what others are doing, like I did this morning, I never get jealous about appearances, but I do get jealous about lifting.  My initial response is “Yay you!!”  And then sometimes, it turns inward in an unhelpful way.  It’s inspiring if they are advanced lifters, but when I see women doing things I should be able to do – like squat anything over 130 pounds, I get bummed.  I have a few things I do pretty well, but cable pulldowns aren’t really all that sexy in the lifting world.   I get a little attention because of my age and that I didn’t quit.  And neither of those things impress me much.  I still have only been lifting for a few years and I am currently in an extended “improvement season”, which means I’m just putting in work.  Nothing truly exciting is going on.  I have a brand new Inzer lever belt I haven’t used because I don’t have heavy leg work in my program because I couldn’t do it.  So I’m putting in work to get to be able to do it in the future.  And it pisses me off when I see that belt just laying there in my car.  Waiting.  Heck – for a few weeks, I left it in the box it came in.  Just got it put together last week.  Now it’s riding around in my car.

I see people doing things I wish I could do and it’s a reminder that I’m really just average.  And getting older.  I haven’t been the new and shiny for a long time.   Feeling average and old – not reality, just feelings.  And then I see someone doing something I should be able to do, I look at what I’m posting, and my ego gets served up.  Ego on a plate.  Nom. Nom. Nom.  And that’s OK.  I’m an intermediate lifter now, I’m told.  Things will happen slower.  Things will be less dramatic.

I can’t lie – everyday I have to recommit to staying public because I think what I’m doing is a little boring and I’d like to just do the work and not be distracted.  I like to keep to myself – which is why blogging is better for me than Facebook.  But I am an average blogger – I’m not a funny blogger , I don’t have time to research so I’m not an informational blogger.  I’m not really doing anything here except documenting my journey.  The Facebook page is harder to keep up and maintain.  Trolls abound.  So much more negativity to deal with over there.  The videos are a little work to do, but the hardest part is putting those visuals up and hoping people don’t think I’m overly impressed with myself – which I definitely am not.  I think about the energy and the time I would save if I just stopped being public.

And then I remember why I don’t want to stop posting.

I remember what it felt like to walk into that gym when I believed I did not belong there.  I remember what it felt like to be embarrassed to have let myself get into that condition.  I remember how it felt to have to pay strangers to help me and trust that they knew what they were doing and weren’t just taking my money and going through the motions. (And that is why I get ENRAGED when I see bad training and bad coaching.  These women are trusting you, assholes, and you’re not even bothering to correct bad form and then dismiss science.  Just keep them emotionally dependent, usually injured,  eating almost nothing, doing hours of cardio, and guilt them when their metabolisms adapt and they stop losing weight – anything to keep them hooked into your ‘old school approach’.  I even saw a coach berate clients on his Facebook page for not following his ‘old school’ program.  Jerk.)  I remember how hard it was to change my daily life.  I remember the guilt I had because the people around me were basically forced to adjust their routines because of my decision.  It took a lot of courage and faith to do those things when body-image and self-confidence weren’t great.

Every time I get ready to quit being public, I hear from someone who borrowed some courage from me.

I don’t really care if I’m “inspirational”.  I don’t care how many people are following.  To be honest, it’s a lot of pressure to keep posting when I’m feeling very – average.  But there is something about what I’m doing that seems to be helpful, so unless something comes up that prevents me from keeping up the public part of my program, I’ll continue.  I guess I felt like I needed to say out loud that whenever my ego gets a little too inflated, there is a pin right there to pop it.  I still need a bit of courage to do what I do.

But if you need to borrow some, help yourself.  I don’t think it runs out.

 

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Filed under Life, My Lifting Log, Opinions, Venting, Ranting

Nutrireligious Zealots are Boring

I started this blog post two months ago.  Never posted it.  Read Uber Beast Mode’s comment on Facebook this morning and decided to dust it off and finish it.

I read something a while ago about how many of us, especially us baby-boomer newbies in this clean eating and fitness game, get too passionate about it.  I sincerely apologize for being a complete pain-in-the-ass.  I’ve read a few articles like this one that equate nutrition and religion…

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/18/calling-for-an-end-to-nutrition-as-religion

I’ve started to avoid a lot of blogs and Facebook pages because the passion gets too negative.  It’s frustrating.  But mostly it’s boring.  I’d rather read about the cool things people are doing, not about their food.  That’s like having huge discussion about the gas you put in your car.

“To question their program or guru’s plans is akin to questioning their religious beliefs; and yet, unlike actual religious questioning (which would almost certainly lead to a thoughtful discussion), question dietary dogma online, and you can bet it will lead to a highly heated debate where anger and indignation can easily descend into name calling and personal attacks.”

I’ve been in a few debates, but my zeal has faded.  I honestly thought everyone was talking science – I’m a nerd.  It never occurred to me that nutrition wasn’t biology.  I didn’t realize that people held onto their beliefs like religious dogma – and I was doing it myself. OUCH!  I’m an idiot.  Then it was easy to spot in others.  People attack each other online and off-line.  Sometimes it’s polite, but many times it is not.  Karma came back and bitch-slapped me when I was attacked by the clean-eating police on my own page.

That’s when I decided that the focus of my Facebook page and this blog will be lifting.  Duh.  It is called Lifting My Spirits, right?  (And I just realized I have not written about lifting for a long time – sorry. I will soon.) I will still post recipes – my clients like that stuff.  I just won’t talk about macros, plant-based diets, clean-eating vs. IIFYM (Google it if you’re not familiar) because it doesn’t really matter.  No matter what your brain believes, your body needs what it needs and it adapts.  A good coach like me <insert shameless plug here> will help a client learn how to feed and care for their own body based on sound scientific principals.

Coach Jon at the Strength Guys said this…

“Metabolism is not static. Find an intelligent starting point and build from there. Sound nutrition-especially for the purposes of optimizing body comp, is largely reactionary. ” ~ Coach Jon

I studied and became a Fitness Nutrition Specialist because I’m fascinated by nutrition and how the body is fueled.  In some ways, it is a religious activity for me because I feel I honor my Creator by caring for His kid properly – how many times have I said eat food ‘grown by God’?  But it’s not really worth arguing about.  It’s just how I choose to eat most of the time because I like how I feel and perform when I’m fueled with foods grown by God.  However, this week, I enjoyed some lovely man-made low fat honey graham crackers as part of my carb refeed.  

People eat what they eat for many reasons.  And no two bodies are the same.  For the sake of transparency, I still get my undies bunched up by bad coaching because that’s malpractice.  But that’s another topic…

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Filed under Nutrition, Opinions, Venting, Ranting

Popularity is Overrated

There are techniques one can use to increase visibility for a blog or a Facebook page. (I don’t actively use Twitter, never opened an Instagram account.). I don’t do many of those things. I have reasons…

1) I’m busy.
I have done a few things a person is supposed to do to grow their blog/page. It’s very time consuming. I gave up FarmVille and Words With Friends because of time. I used to write a lot more, enjoy it, but don’t have time for that, either. (I’m supposed to be writing exams and working on my online client files right now.)

2) I don’t care (or I try to not care).
I have always been that person who has one or two close friends. I’m not a social butterfly. I am a nerd. I am some kind of an introvert – a weird kind that apparently enjoys doing some “out-there” kinds of things. Like posing on stage.  Like sending my picture to Siouxcountry last December. That impulsive move started everything.

Not exactly sure why I did it.  Up to that point, I had been very careful about keeping that image to myself.  I was asked to share my story on other pages, but I was very apprehensive.    I didn’t want a lot of attention.  Remember, I’m an introvert.  And I knew it was a dramatic transformation pic, so I didn’t trust strangers to handle things with respect.  So why did I send it to Jason?  I knew his page was very respectful to female athletes.  He’s protective.  But what made me send it on that day?  Ego.  I was feeling a bit feisty and full of myself on that day.  (It happens.)   I saw a transformation picture of a young woman who lost something like 15 pounds, got a spray tan and heels, and then shared her before/after picture.  Ok.  I remember thinking that she’s proud and that’s awesome.  But that’s not a transformation.  THIS is a transformation (i.e. blue plaid shirt to black posing suit pic).

I wanted to pull it back as soon as it was sent.  And I spent a good 5 or 6 hours mortified when I picked up the vibe that he needed to check it out because he thought it might be fake.  Understandable, I guess, but it was the first of a few times in the past 11 months when I wish I hadn’t sent it.

In about a month, it will be one year since Jason was kind enough to share my story his page and then things took off. He’s been a great supporter since.  My page grew, his page grew, anyone who shared the pic saw growth.  Any big bumps I get in new Likes are still coming when someone shares a picture of my transformation.  (Sometimes, I get lucky and have a good piece of content, but I’ve NEVER gotten a couple hundred new people on the page from a blog post.  Just the pictures.)  There are still only a few pages that I really trust to handle things well.   When a picture is shared, there can be too many negative comments.  I do feel attacked and it  is unpleasant.  Those few administrators handle it for me.  (And just when I sound like an ungrateful b*tch…keep reading…)

So all that said – the point of this blog is to remind people who are chasing those “likes” that they should be careful what you wish for.  I miss being a private person.  I miss being able to have an opinion without creating drama.  I can’t vent at will anymore.  What used to be an outlet for me has turned into something else.  People forget I’m a real person and assume I have thick skin to deflect the ignorant or hurtful things that are said.  I honestly don’t think anyone has thick skin.  Maybe they just stopped reading the comments.  But I do read them.  Every one.  I manage my Facebook page and this blog like my classroom.  Because I do that, people respect the page and play very nicely together.  But it has become a little more work and frustration than I anticipated.  I also don’t like the OCD-like feeling of having to check it frequently to stay on top of the comments.

Sometimes,  I wish I hadn’t started this.  I’ve been cyber stalked.  I’ve been challenged and maligned.   People I don’t know get offended as if I posted that thing directly at them.  (Hell, people get the most offended when I post pictures of food that they deem as “bad”.  I’m the one who ate it.  It’s not like I’ve got you tied to a chair and I’m going to force feed you a Pop Tart.  “Nutrition as Religion” is a post that may or may not happen.  I’m not sure if I’ve lost my interest or my courage on that one.)

And then Facebook changes a few things and other pages go bonkers trying to increase their reach.  Post after post of pages sharing other pages because they are on some kind of mission.  I’m sitting over here in my corner of the Internet wondering why.  We don’t get anything for it except more time spent managing it all.  Given – maybe a little credibility.  But the pages I like have seriously good content.  Most little pages are just trying to be big pages.

I am very grateful that there are almost 450 people following this blog.   I am also grateful that 5800 people “like” the page on Facebook – it’s an ego thing. But many of these people don’t really like me as a person.  They will  turn on me in a heartbeat.  They are consumers and clicking the Like button is like a purchase.  They will threaten to take their business elsewhere if I say something that bothers them.  That’s fair and reasonable.  That’s what I do.  If you annoy me – CLICK – and I’m outta here.  There is a MAJOR page in our industry where the administrator didn’t think I had the correct opinion when I commented so he ripped me a new one for being stupid – personally, by name.  CLICK.  And most pages that share his stuff…CLICK… because I don’t want to be reminded how how it felt to be dressed down like that in public.  See what happens when you get too big for your britches?  Raised wrong, I say.  Raised. Wrong.

I’m starting to wonder if page administrators are playing Facebook and “Likes” are the score in the game. Isn’t it  just like playing Farmville or Candy Crush – get a little help from your neighbors to progress in the game?

Pretty sure someone will “unlike/unfollow” me right now because I said out loud that I don’t really care how many people “Like” my page and they will take that as meaning I’m ungrateful for my success.  Unless the people that follow my stuff are going to to help me move, drive me to a colonoscopy appointment, or go to a movie with me, we aren’t really friends, so it’s cool.  Shop elsewhere.  It’s social media.

So why not close it down if it’s not fun anymore?  I’ve thought about doing just that – a lot.  (Many private pep talks from Martha and Kendra to help me keep my head on straight. Thank you!!)   I haven’t yet because of one thing – it’s helping a few people.  I’m a teacher.  That’s not my job, that’s who I am.  It’s in my DNA, I think.  Every time I get frustrated at work, I plan my escape.  I’ve announced my retirement on Facebook, so that’s ‘real’ now, right?  And then…the kids come in and sit down.  They make me laugh.  Some come visit after they graduated.   They remind me that what I’m doing is important.  Every time I get close to shutting down the Facebook page or just walking away and letting it sit there and collect dust, I get an email or a comment from someone with an amazing story to tell.  I am building my post-retirement business on the side a few years earlier than planned because a few really amazing women have shared their dreams and asked for my help.   They are willing to hire me and that shows they are willing to invest in themselves so the time I invest in them becomes something of value to both of us.  So many others have told me they have done the same thing with trainers in their local area.  They are getting the help they need.  Real people making real changes in their health – that’s coming from the page.  Several people who tell me that they are inspired by what I’ve done are doing more with greater challenges. I’m inspired by them.  I’m inspired by YOU.  You have no idea how many times in the last year I’ve wanted to sleep in but get up and out because I have to be the example for someone. I usually won’t know who, but I will post that I’ve done it and then an email comes.

I appreciate so much when you share your story with me so I can hang on to your sincerity in this superficial social media unreality.

So for the pages who are overly ambitious about playing the game – stop.  Just do your content.  Quit trying to be inspirational and just be real.  People will find you.  People will share your stuff.  Post pictures of what you’ve done.  People like that a lot.  I’ve learned that I can’t hit a home-run every day.  Any time I post anything thinking “they will really like this”, it falls flat.  It should, too.  If it’s not authentic, there is no point.

So, at risk of stealing my friend Colin’s thunder – who has told me at a hundred times – Just Do You.

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