November 21, 2014

Peer Support through Activity Apps

Adam has a great post at diaTribe. I know, I know... Saying 'Adam' and 'great post' is redundant. Adam is the very definition of great posts.

It is just this particular one has me thinking about peer to peer support in a different way. We often cite the emotional value of not being alone with diabetes. That is big, huge. No question.

My current place on the diabetes continuum is very much dominated by getting my ass in gear. Here is a happy little workout blues riff on the topic, "Can't Get My Ass In Gear" - Coco Montoya." I love that tune. I don't remember who put me on to it I think it was Rex. I hope so 'cause it is his humor.

So clearly iTunes is a great app but while it may play tunes on the subject it doesn't really get my ass in gear. I need some encouragement for that. That is what Adam talks about.  He writes of health apps:
Friendly encouragement from friends. I’m a huge fan of the social aspects of activity tracking – whereby you can “follow” your friends, give them encouragement, and challenge each other. This might sound like it could be cutthroat or competitive, but I’ve found it to be the exact opposite. Even the language used (e.g., “Cheer” [Fitbit], “Kudos” [Strava]) speaks to the positive atmosphere that these apps seek to foster. According to Fitbit’s McDonough, for each extra friend someone has on the Fitbit system, his or her activity increases by 750 steps per day. Based on my conversations with friends, however, the social features are not for everyone – some don’t want followers! Fortunately, you can toggle these on or off as you desire.
I was spectacularly intimidated when Adam first reached out to "share workouts." Read his bit, he is fit and motivated. I am neither, see the aforementioned "ass in gear" issue. I didn't want to even think about being in the same league as Adam. I am not but that is cool, that ain't the point. The point is supporting each other.

Adam and others are very much part of my peer support system now.

The encouragement factor is real and so very true. A "Kudo" means a lot to me. It means I am not alone in efforts to get my ass in gear. Hey.. wait... see that? It is about not being alone. It is about having someone with you, not as a competitor but as a supporter of progress. Each kudos is a sticker of progress. Each feel good and so does sharing them.

So my thanks to Adam, Jenny, Lane, Mike and Mari for the Kudos on Strava.com.

Need help getting your ass in gear? Maybe a few kudos will help. A little Coco Montoya help too. Join me on Strava.






Do the #BigBlueTest all year, your #WalkWithD and be a walk, ride, run, jog, swim, lift, what ever. Find and support and be supported by peers.