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I had an experience after a CrossFit workout last week that both embarrassed me helped me grow – hopefully. At my CrossFit gym, we track our workouts. We do it on a “whiteboard” that’s posted online for everyone to see.

Well, after recording a workout that had exercises I like a lot (and generally have my best workouts at), I was excited to see that my name was atop that public whiteboard. This meant that my performance was the best out of all the other women who had worked out so far that day.

Of course, I knew that there’d be some women in the later gym sessions who would surpass my performance. But I still took pride in what I had done.

The problem was that I took a little bit too much pride in my performance.

What do I mean exactly?

Well, the more pride I took in my performance, the more I lost sight of what my workout was really about.

I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost 7 years now, and I’m still excited about it because I love the friends I’ve made, I love how it makes me feel, and I’m happy knowing that I’m doing everything I can to get better at getting older.

I DON’T work out to try to do better than anyone, except myself. I do CrossFit for my own personal reasons, and I always want everyone to do their best. It doesn’t matter to me how my exercise performance ranks among my peers (or at least I didn’t think it mattered). If I’ve put forth an honest effort, then I’m happy with the workout, period.

But when I started focusing on how my score ranked on the public leaderboard, and what other people would think when they saw it, I forgot about all of the positive and personal and empowering reasons I exercise.

Going forward I don’t think I’m going to make any of my scores public anymore. In fact, I’m not even going to track my workouts at all, except for the “benchmark” routines that help me measure my progress over time and help me calculate appropriate target weights and times during the non-benchmark workouts.

That said, I know that public health tracking can be a great thing for many people. Publicly tracking your workouts might be good if you find it helpful to be held accountable to others when it comes to your exercise routine.

Public tracking might help you develop a greater sense of community with friends who are also trying to eat better or exercise more. And tracking everything in the early stages of an exercise program or lifestyle change can help you get the information and knowledge you need to succeed.

The Pros:

  • Tracking gives you necessary data
  • It can help you stay motivated
  • Competition can be healthy
  • Public support and camaraderie are proven methods for attaining goals

The Cons:

  • You can get stuck focusing on the numbers
  • Your ego can get in the way
  • You may feel inferior to others who are also tracking publicly

The Solution?

You do you. Spend some time tracking your efforts and your results. Whether you’re quitting sugar, cutting back on carbs, or working out every day, tracking your information publicly or privately can be a huge component of your success.

Assess how you feel after a few months. Yes, track for a few months. In my experience it really does take about 4 months to create a habit and to be able to honestly assess it. After a few months you may be able to see real gains from tracking or you may decide to change how you track or who you share the information with.

At Renegade Nurse we’re about supporting you with the most up to date health and lifestyle information with the full knowledge that one diet or approach does not work for everyone. It’s about finding out what works for YOU. Track, assess, make adjustments. And when you want or need a little (or a lot) of help. Reach out and connect. Let me help you clear away the clutter and find what works best for you.

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