Mark faces his feelings


This post appears as 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.

Written by Mark Spur

My fitness journey has taken a different tone in the past few days. I was more emotional than usual.

Earlier in the week, wanting to turn things around a bit, I tried a bike lesson with a different coach. It’s one that WebMD physician Dr Bruni has recommended during this trip. Her name is Christine Dercole.

do not worry. This would not be a Peloton advertisement. stay with me.

I was sweating during the trip, as usual, and “Good Job” by Alicia Keys came out. Kristen talked about how she chose this song because it reminded her of how soon someone gave her a pickup at the exact time she needed it. Then I started tearing mid-flight.

I did, too. As I stomped with two water running down my face, I wondered why.

If you’ve read my other blogs – or if you know me – then you know that my default position is to seek out humor, especially in situations that are outside my comfort zone. When I find the joke, it’s usually on my own.

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

Trust me, my friends. It was not.

I got on the scale recently and found exactly where I weighed as the last time I got the scale was a week or so ago. Granted, other numbers say I’m gaining muscle, and I’m still feeling good physically. However, it’s frustrating to do all the work and not see it as I had hoped. Even worse, in my often hyperactive brain, I immediately went to the question of where I might fail.

What have I eaten and should not be eating?

Where did I relax in my workouts?

The truth is, for every minute of joy and achievement on this journey, for me, there is probably 10 or 20 seconds of anxiety and doubt.

Am I doing enough?

Have you lost enough weight?

What if I strayed from the right path?

Does all of this make any difference at all?

Which brings me to the reaction I got on the bike. The next sentence the instructor said was: “If you’re on this trip, you’re doing well too.”

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

Sure, that’s tough. Almost anything worthwhile. Can I do better? Likely. But I’m on the way. The goals are still close at hand, and no matter what the scale says, my body is telling me I’m winning them.

Most importantly, I have received support from so many places that I cannot fail.

Whether you know it or not, you are.

Mark Spur is a Senior Health Editor at WebMD. He spent more than two decades in the sports media, working with groups such as NCAA, NASCAR and PGA TOUR. Most weekends you can find him and his wife Chris cheering on their daughter’s softball team.

While Mark has spent a lot of time with athletes, he isn’t, so fitness has always been a huge challenge. He hopes this endeavor will help him get a little closer to winning that battle.

You can follow Mark on Twitter Embed a Tweet.

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