The Numbers Game

Our society is driven by data – at work, at home, and at play.  For me, a number junkie and data nerd, tracking my fitness stats is a bit of a hobby.  How much further or faster did I go?  How I am comparing to what I did last year?  What I am doing compared to everyone else?

While I love data, I am at the point where I have to stop letting myself be driven by numbers.  I can’t always run the distance or the paces that are expected in a training plan.  My aging body is telling me to slow down, but it is not telling me to stop; it is telling me to play smarter.  So in the past year, I have learned to be happy with what I am doing.

Tracking data allows me to see where I am at, to stay focused, and to adjust when needed.   It lets me see the distances that I am finishing and celebrate them.  More often than not, the fact that I am still swimming, biking and running is enough on its own and “as fast as I can” is the most impressive pace that I have to show.

Of course, I still look at my Garmin and Strava feed and, yes, there are days when I do compare a segment to past efforts.  But as I am nearing my sixtieth year, I know that I need to focus on what I can do now, not on what I use to do, want to do or wish I could do.  Taking away the pressure that data can carry has returned my love of fitness to just having fun.

And in between those fun times, I might just be throwing in a bit of work so that I can keep chasing my dreams.

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