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The Commentary

The receptacle that catches what falls out of my head as I run.

To What End - My Running Commentary

Chris Aronchick

I had a meta moment right after my first post (link) which was, if I am encouraging people to examine their motivation around diet and exercise, what is my motivation for blogging?

So, there are 3 reasons - two mostly true, one very true. The first mostly true one is really the ideal, and I don't want to bury it: I would LOVE it if people said that they read my blog and made positive changes regarding diet or exercise because of the words that I wrote. That would be like finding out that I had a super power that I never knew I had. However, just as with wanting to look good in the mirror, it's an external goal. What can I do about it after I put pen to paper and post to various social media outlets? Not much, and as a result, if that is my primary goal, I may ultimately be dissatisfied by not being able to achieve it.

The second reason, again, mostly true, is that writing things down and exposing your ideas to the light of day requires being critical about why you think what you think. How are you supporting your argument to justify your conclusions? If you keep adding pressure to your conclusions, do they still hold water? For my part,I have to concede that I do not have the resources to conduct the experimentation that I would like in order to see with my own eyes the results of experiments, and that will always make my conclusions weaker than those that have stood the test of repeated experiments. Having said that, I believe that if you hear a message consistently and try validating in your own life, reporting on the results has its own merits. Continually performing this exercise gets you better at it, and when I need to think about efforts at work or my personal life (outside of MRC), I can push on my decisions more effectively and feel more confident in them. There is a risk related to exposing your beliefs to the world: being wrong. But I really would welcome competing information that I'd have to validate. Maybe I am wrong about what I think. You know what's wrong with that? Not a thing. Why? Because I'll know more about the subject than I did the day before, and who wouldn't want that?

But the real reason for blogging? I get to express my beliefs in a way that gets them out of my head and into the world. The thoughts that are coming out of MRC having been rolling around in my head for a long while, and it feels good to get them out. You'd be amazed at how long this post has been sitting in draft form since, once it was out of my head, the pressure to release it dissipated almost entirely. In any case, a hope that I have related to that, though it is not one that I count on to feel good about what I post, is that someone may hear my voice on a day that they are receptive to the message, and it has a positive impact on them. I am always amazed when I hear something one day that rings true, even though I have heard that message a dozen times before. That someone put their thoughts out there and I found it on the right day made all the difference, and I hope to do the same here. 

Adding one more voice to the conversation of how to take care of oneself is all to the good. Yes, there are many good resources out there, but that doesn't mean adding another voice is a bad thing, provided that it is well thought out and supported. The analogy that came to mind was firemen at a fire. Is there anything bad about having ANOTHER fireman at a fire? Actually there is. If that fireman isn't actually helping and is causing more problems than he's solving. So, I have to do my best to make sure that what I communicate makes sense, and that I have taken the time to think it through and validate it as much as I can. For my early audience members, I hope you hold me to a high standard of scrutiny.