Why do you do what you do

by ~jenniferlynn on May 14, 2015

in inspiration

I posted a quote on Instagram last week that really made me think about myself and how I have judged others in the past.

It made me realize that we only see such a small piece of what people are doing, and we can see the actions that they take; but we don’t know their why. I have been down the paleo road before and was convinced it was the only way of eating to achieve goals. I do Crossfit, and of course that comes with its own ego-filled world of being the only way to workout. I went to school, did the college thing, got a grown-up job, bought a house, continued on to finish my MBA, and moved to another job where I will work for the next 30 years. The only ‘why’ I have for a lot of those things, and how anyone from the outside would perceive them, were because it is what I thought I was supposed to be doing.

In 2013, I made a goal to run a half-marathon. People were calling me a runner, but I didn’t want to be associated with runners because I didn’t like to run. My purpose behind running wasn’t anything to do with running at all; I don’t think running is the best way to stay fit and I wasn’t doing it for any health reasons. I woke up early every Saturday morning to do a long run and everyone watched as I hit new milestones. To an outsider, I was running because I like to run, or to some I was derailing my Crossfit efforts because I was losing my gym gains in favor of something else.

To me, I was running because I had set a goal for myself earlier in the year that I was going to do something that I never thought I could do. I wanted a challenge. I didn’t like to run, I didn’t want to win any race and I sure as heck didn’t like hours a week consumed by running. It killed me to lose progress in Crossfit and to see my strength decrease as my endurance increased, but I wasn’t doing it for the running, despite that being the image I portrayed.

People saw my actions; not my why.

I think a lot about how this is so common in so many aspects, especially in the health and fitness world, and how we don’t see the other side of things. I would never want to do any sort of figure competition and put my body through that kind of stress, but those girls who do it have some sort of crazy dedication and determination to get themselves on stage. I would never want to run a marathon, but what sort of person does it take to give up their weekends and commit their days to putting in hours of running? I have never understand traditional “globo-gym” workouts, but sometimes people want to work out solely for the benefit of shaping their body a certain way, not because it is the “wrong” way.

My current goals in Crossfit are to work up to a strict muscle-up and to increase my back squat (while keeping up on my love of Olympic weightlifting). The new cycle of Outlaw is doing just that. I took a step back from doing traditional Crossfit classes not because I didn’t like the coaching or programming, but because this program is conveniently tailored right to my needs. On top of that, one of the biggest benefits for me doing this program, is that it is a huge anxiety reliever. In class I’d often do workouts, and still do some, that stress. me. out. I have had what I refer to as exercise-induced panic attacks, brought upon by putting so much pressure upon myself in the middle of the workout that I can’t breathe; which leads to panic; which leads to worse breathing (remember 15.5?).. and inevitable tears. A very stressful cycle!

To an outsider, I may look anti-social or dissing the program, but really- it is just doing what is best for me at this point in time for my goals today.

I am trying to put this into perspective in so many areas of my life now.

I was struggling at my day job and all I wanted to do was vent and complain about people; yet when I put myself in someone else’s shoes, I realized sometimes the actions of others are unavoidable, or justifiable.

I see people posting things on Facebook and wonder wtf… but from their perspective, maybe Facebook is used as an escape from real life.

Every day I see people doing things that make no sense to me at all, but did you ever wonder what would happen if you asked someone, “Why?”

The answer may surprise you. It could be that they just don’t know any other way, or don’t understand there are alternatives out there that could make things easier or better. It could be that they just truly love doing what they are doing, even though in your eyes it is not ideal. It could be someone is striving for a specific goal or outcome.

Rather than judging, put yourself in someone else’s shoes; and in your own life, look at things that are you doing and remember to ask yourself, “Why?” just as often.

Your turn..
Have you ever been quick to judge something or someone?
Did you ever try to put yourself in their shoes and ask “Why?”
What is something that you do that others have misunderstood or judged?

Twitter: fantabulouslisa
May 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

OMG I am so guilty of jumping to conclusions when I see people doing things! I definitely needed to read this today 🙂
lisa recently posted..Accepting the muscle!My Profile

Mary Long
Twitter: inmyheadspace
May 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I really like this post Jen. I like it because everyone is guilty of judging for some reason or another. With any type of program you belong to, if you do not set new goals, change classes or change trainers, etc. , it will get stale. You will get bored and eventually probably lose interest completely! I try really hard to not judge other people because I don’t like it when people do it to me and I then had to explain my why. I just look at their photo or status post and think, “Good for you.” I might not always understand the why but I will always be there to support anyone that wants to accept it from me. When others try to complain to me or gossip at me about others and their actions, I nicely remind that everyone has their own priorities and they can do things as they want. That usually makes them change the subject. I am too old for assuming things and getting caught up in that crap. :0)

~jenniferlynn May 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Thank you Mary!”

Lawrence May 15, 2015 at 9:15 am

Wow, really inspiring blog. I think we are all guilty of judging and jumping to conclusions especially when it comes to fitness. I have had to tell myself that it may not come as easily to others as it does to me when it comes to the motivation to get out there and run. You never know what is going on in someone elses life so i think a good rule, is always to treat others with respect. Really enjoy your blog, thanks!
Lawrence recently posted..How can I ease myself into completing a marathon ?My Profile

~jenniferlynn May 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

lindsay @ lifting in lilly May 18, 2015 at 11:57 am

interesting post… thinking this way might help me not get so annoyed with people on social media!! i feel like in real life, i am pretty compassionate and try to think this way, but when it comes to instagram and facebook, people kind of show their wackiest (maybe most real?) selves!
lindsay @ lifting in lilly recently posted..this is where i get strongerMy Profile

Elizabeth Phillips May 20, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Such an inspiring post! There are so many beautiful women out there who stay fit and healthy. Female fitness is growing more and more in popularity. If you have the time, check it out. https://www.facebook.com/glpfitness?ref=hl

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