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Social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can show you what some of your favorite people (close to you, celebrity status, and everything in between) are up to and maybe even inspire you to kick some butt in a certain area in your life. On the other hand, it can easily cause you to compare yourself to others and their not-so-real-insta lives. So what’s the answer? How do you spend (hopefully minimal) time on social media and get the benefits without switching into self-deprecation mode?
Take today to note how much time you’re planning to spend on social media and keep in mind how it will affect your mental health (which, in turn, will strongly affect your training) in the year ahead. Then follow these six steps.
Step 1: Unfollow (Or Mute) Any Accounts That Don’t Bring You Joy
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Are there certain posts that leave you feeling down on yourself? Unfollow. Is someone full of drama? Unfollow. Is a fitness account leaving you feeling less than ideal? Unfollow. We’re trying to curate a feed that leaves us inspired for the days, weeks, and months of training ahead. If accounts are making you feel anything but inspired, it’s time to let them go.
Step 2: Find a Pro (Or 10) Who Inspires You
As long as you can hold onto the fact that these pros do this for a living, Instagram is a great place to follow your favorite professional triathlete. Many of their feeds are full of amazing photography from around the world and inspiring racing and training results. Several pros are very good at creating their own content and it’s motivating to watch them as they pursue this sport so passionately.
Some of our favorite follows (but most pros are on Instagram—simply search for your favorite!): @linseycorbin, @lsanderstri, @Kzaferes6, @lucycharles93, @bhoffmanracing, @benkanute, @Danielaryf, @Janfrodeno, @Floraduffy, @eric_lagerstrom, @tointri, @MirindaCarfrae
Step 3: Find a Fellow Age Grouper Who Has Done Something Epic
The #trispo doesn’t end with the pros. There are plenty of fellow amateur triathletes out there doing some amazing things. Finding someone you can relate to who has overcome the odds or simply accomplished something epic can fuel you as you dive into training each day.
Some of our favorite follows: @trinywillerton, @walkingwithkp, @laurenparker2127, @ironcowboyjames, @ebyrnes22, @bockeylife, @triallysa, @laurensteadmann, @runningonveggies, @bandurance
Step 4: Find Your Favorite Tri Photographer
The entire purpose of Instagram is to share photos, so make sure that you’re following the ones who capture images of this sport for a living. They travel the world and get to see the sport from a rare perspective.
Some of our favorite follows: @dellyphotoninja, @tzaferes, @wags.photo, @NilsNilsen
Step 5: Find a Local Age Grouper Who You Look Up To
There are no doubt people in your triathlon community who you are inspired by. Take that step and follow them on Instagram. Learning from people who are doing it right (and who you can relate to) can help you to reach goals. Basically: don’t be shy!
Step 6: Find a Local Age Grouper Who Is New
This one will take a little bit more work on your part, but please don’t be afraid to follow through on this step. Identify one (or many) people who are just dipping their toe into the sport. Find someone in your triathlon club, at your local pool, at your kids’ school, or in your neighborhood who is intrigued by multisport. Follow them and don’t be afraid to reach out and offer to help with any questions they may have. You were a newbie at one point; imagine what it would have felt like to have someone offer to help in the early stages. The more welcoming we can be, the more likely people are to join us in our love for triathlon—and isn’t that how we all win?