Monday, August 3, 2015

SOCIALLY BENEFICIAL

Social media seems to rule our lives today.

Facebook statuses, tweets, and Instagrams are everywhere. In a world where privacy used to be cherished, we have opened  up our lives to just about anyone, and it's only a click away.

Is it really essential for us to know what someone ate for breakfast this morning?

Do we need to see mutilated dogs, terminally ill folks who are hooked up life support machines, and, of course, endless 'selfies?'

And, yes, we know that your child is the greatest basketball/football/baseball/soccer player on the planet.

Sometimes, it's just too much.

Personally, with the exception of close friends or family, some of whom live many miles away, I have purged many of the negative, narcissistic posters from my friends list. Most of the people on my current friends list are runners.

Social media has been great for running and runners.

Race information and results can be accessed easily. Running clubs are able to disseminate information to members or prospective members.

We are able to compare training information, tips on shoes and apparel, the status of our recent races, as well as advice on injury prevention or rehabilitation.

I am fortunate to belong a Facebook group called Running for the Health of It With the Workout Doctor. Runners from all over the country belong to the group.

Workout reports and race results come in from runners who live in Alaska as well as south Florida.

During the summer, friends Felix Shipp from Mississippi and Ken Shapiro from south Florida, curse my relatively mild Pennsylvania summer, while they boil in the tropical heat. Of course, as the snow falls and the wind whips my trash can lids around like UFO's, I envy their southern winter.

Last year, at the Philadelphia Marathon, a group of us from Running For the Health of It: Felix Shipp, from Mississippi, Mary Landrigan-Ossar, from Massachusetts, Chuck Ziegenfus, who lives in Philadelphia, Eric Koehler, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I met, face-to-face, something that would not have been possible without social media.

Running is a fun, pleasurable experience for all of us. That's why we do it. It is my belief that anything we can utilize to make our running easier and more pleasurable is something we should take advantage of.

So, feel free to look me up. Check out my Joe Muldowney, or my Joe Muldowney Running Facebook page, and find me at: rdrunnr00 on Twitter.