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.