Facebook.....years ago when everyone was trying to get me to change over from Myspace I laughed. Mainly because I couldn't figure it out. I set up a profile on it and logged on when I could. Not having a computer it was hard.....I was only able to check my account once every 1-3 months. I acquired a laptop when I took a semester of school last fall. It was last July that I also discovered Spartan racing. I would be on my regular PC once in a while, but when I found Spartan and all the great things (work-outs, fitness tips, other women in my same situation, and tips for races) I quickly started logging on more and became "obsessed" with the online racing community. Spartan Chicked, a group on Facebook, was where I really started to meet some incredible women. These women are from all over the country...actually scratch that...now...all over the WORLD. When I joined the group was at about 250 members...it's now at an amazing 2,718 and growing FAST!
I quickly started finding links to other people through friends I made in Spartan Chicked. It started panning out more and more until I was talking to people on a regular basis from Vermont, New Jersey, Arizona, Nebraska, Virginia, Rhode Island, New York, California, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Florida, Massachusettes, Maine, Illinois, COUNTLESS people from all areas of Pennsylvania, even Ottawa Canada...I'm sure there's a few others, but these are what I could find. These are men and women from all over the country who work-out on a regular basis, some more than others, and are determined to finish a race, just like me. Some have been in the racing/fitness world for years and some are just new to everything. The other thing we have in common is deriving our determination, our motivation and our inspirations from each other...from Facebook and the online community of racing. I don't have a huge local or close knit group of family or friends who are into fitness, running, weight liftging or cross fit. What I DO have is an awesome online community of support. People who have inspired me to keep going...who have shown me that it CAN be done and who continually struggle sometimes just like I do, but we push past. When I see people going through the same things as me, physically and emotionally..that is ALSO support.
I am fully aware that I spend a LOT of time online. I'm not a huge fan of t.v.....most of what is on t.v. anymore is pure garbage! Being in the position that my family is in at the moment with not having a lot of money, there are little chances of going to do anything that costs money. I hate to read. I tend to think that I have a fairly tidy house...I'm no Martha Stewart but I'm pretty type A when it comes to having things looking ok around here. I work full-time and I work-out on a fairly regular basis. All my down time is yep....pretty much spent online. Of all the friends I have....94 out of the 260 something I have are all people that I have met online from the racing/running world. Some of them I have met in real life now and there are a TON more that I will meet in July at my Spartan Race. In the meantime I have also joined an accountability group of people from the general area in which I live. I have bonded with them like a small family. We tell each other what we've done to work-out for the day, talk about what we've had to eat, and post our struggles and difficutlties, and give one another support. Facebook gives me what real life can't. I'm not saying I don't have an awesome circle of support in real life...I absolutely do. My husband has been at each and every race I've done to meet me along the way, camera in tow, and at the finish line cheering me on. The kids have been along for a few races, my parents have come out to a couple and co-workers have dealt with hearing my talk of races for months now. I even convinced a few of them to run my first 5K with me back in September. They are always asking about my races and want an update on how I've done. Without any of them training for the Spartan with me though..it's really hard for ANY of them to understand how I really feel sometimes.
I tend to post a LOT on Facebook. I'll post my good days, my bad days and everything and anything in between. It's like I mentioned in a post before...I'm an open book. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. You WILL know how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. It's been brought to my attention by a couple of my friends now, that I've inspired them to start running or working out again. I do get a little uneasy sometimes about how much I post...but after having several people tell me that they "follow" me on here and that it really motivates, inspires, and helps them....then I'm going to keep doing it. I'm also very attentive to all my friends on here. I will sit down and start with most recent post and go alllll the way down through everything until I get to the day prior. I like seeing what everyone else has accomplished for the day..I like giving them a "great job" or "that's awesome" and also words of encouragement when they're having a bad day. I like the fact that people are "here" for me and feel the need to be "there" for them.
If I had a more elaborate life in the "real" world I guess I wouldn't be on here as much. For right now..this is what I do...call me a Facebook junkie if you will...but for me it's where I draw a lot of my inspiration from....my motivation to keep going even when there are really crappy days (there are at least 2 friends I can name that ALWAYS have very inspirational quotes and pics up) and even ideas for working out, fitness tips and where I can go to ask questions about injuries, products, and tons of other things that my "real" life friends would have no clue about. (and I'm perfectly fine with that) I don't have a smart phone with all kinds of crazy apps and have facebook hooked to my hip all the day long...this is my down time..what I do to relax...and what I do to stay connected with the world outside of my crazy life.