Mark Is Facing His Feelings

This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.

By Mark Spoor

My fitness journey has taken on a different tone in recent days. I was a little more emotional than usual.

Earlier in the week, wanting to shake things up a bit, I tried a bike lesson with a different instructor. This is the one that Dr Bruni, the WebMD doctor who advised me on this trip, recommended to me. Her name is Christine D’Ercole.

Do not worry. This will not be a Peloton ad. Stay with me.

I was sweating the whole way, as usual, and Alicia Keys’ song “Good Job” arrived. Christine explained how she chose this song because it reminded her of a recent time when someone gave her a pickup exactly when she needed it. Then she started to tear in the middle of the ride.

I did it too. And as I was pedaling with two types of water running down my face, I wondered why.

If you’ve read my other blogs – or know me – you know my default stance is joking around, especially in situations that are out of my comfort zone. When I find the joke, it’s usually at my expense.

I joked so much during this blogging series that people have told me that it seems like my fitness journey has been easy for me.

Trust me, my friends. This is not the case.

I recently stepped on the scale and found my weight exactly where it was the last time I gained about a week or so. Certainly, other numbers indicate that I am gaining muscle, and physically I still feel really good. Still, it’s disheartening to do all the work and not see it reflected in the way I hoped. Worse, in my often hyperactive brain, I instantly wondered where I could have failed.

What did I eat that I shouldn’t have eaten?

Where have I slacked off in my workouts?

The truth is, for every minute of joy and accomplishment on this trip, for me there are probably 10 or 20 seconds of worry and doubt.

Am I doing enough?

Have I lost enough weight?

What if I fall off the track?

Does it all make a difference?

Which brings me to this reaction I had on the bike. It was all about the next sentence the instructor said, “If you’re on this race you’re doing a good job too.”

I needed to hear this (as evidenced by my reaction).

Of course, it’s hard. Almost anything worth it. Can I do better? Probably. But I am traveling. The goals are always at hand, and no matter what the scale says, my body tells me I’m winning over them.

Most importantly, I have support from so many places that I can’t fail.

And whether you know it or not, so do you.

Mark Spoor is the health editor at WebMD. He has spent over 2 decades in sports media, working with groups like the NCAA, NASCAR and the PGA TOUR. Most weekends you can find him and his wife, Chris, cheering on their daughter’s softball team.

Although Mark has spent a lot of time with athletes, he isn’t, so fitness has always been a challenge. He hopes this effort will help him get one step closer to winning this battle.

You can follow Mark on Twitter @markspoor.

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