Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.


    LDRICHEL   50,581
SparkPoints
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
 
 

When The Virtual Becomes Reality


Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You know, I've found myself spending a lot more time on this site over the past few weeks.

When I first started, I would do the basics every day - log my food and exercise, and get as many points as I could and that would be that. I never even bothered to check out the Friend Feed and I rarely read anyone's blog posts. It was pretty much a bare bones approach to SparkPeople. It's not that I didn't think everyone on here was nice or I didn't enjoy adding SparkFriends. I did. I had a couple SparkFriends that I recognized because they frequented my Team message boards, but not too many. It's just that it didn't seem REAL. It was a virtual world with a bunch of people I'd never met and probably never would and this virtual world wasn't part of MY world.

But then things took a super sharp turn. I recall a few weeks ago deciding to just browse through the Friend Feed because I had received some SparkGoodies and sweet messages from a couple people I didn't know. Went through and liked a few statuses...checked out a couple blogs and left some comments. And it was kind of fun. I mean, I'm a self-proclaimed Facebook addict, so I know how this all goes. But still...I thought, "I'm already addicted to FB and Twitter...do I really want ANOTHER social media site? This is why I am not on LinkedIn yet or Tumblr. Can't manage them all!"

Then came what I like to call "the explosion". There was that blog post about my first run of a distance of 5k. I am not sure what it was that was so popular about that one, but I suddenly had an inbox blowing up with comments and gifts and kind words. I have received 390 comments on this one blog entry! As this was my first experience like this, I felt so touched and I vowed to write a personal note to every single person that commented on this blog. Well, I made that commitment when there were about 85 comments. Haha. I believe I managed about 300 return comments. But, man...things started taking off and once I was awarded "Motivator", I could no longer keep up. However, through that crazy few days, I managed to add about 150 SparkFriends (and continue to add each day).

In response to that blog, I realized that all of you are so very REAL and so many people are in need of encouragement and inspiration and most of us are all in the same boat, no matter where we live or what our circumstances in life may be.

I have been up to date on my Friend Feed for the past week. I don't miss a post!!! Yes, I see you all out there! I like any status where someone spins 20 or more. I like ALL statuses of people receiving fitness minute awards and any status that shows someone has worked out or feels great about their health. It's just a "like"...but I see it as a little bit of encouragement that I can give to my friends here on SparkPeople...an "atta girl/atta boy...keep on keepin on!" if you will. I really do read every blog that comes across my Friend Feed now. Don't always comment, but if it resonates with me, I certainly will. I wasn't too involved in my Teams before, but now I am finding new friends there every day as well.

And what has happened as a result of one decision to read through a Friend Feed? I can't even explain it to you. Somehow, this melee of random virtual profiles has transformed into living, breathing, phone talking, text messaging, Facebook friending, struggle sharing, motivation giving, REAL LIFE frienships in MY real world! A divide has been crossed and, somehow, this community is REAL now!

It is the motivation I receive from all my SparkFriends that keeps me positive and keeps me writing these blogs. It's incredibly circular the way this works! I truly believe that, without you, I would not have the motivation that I have or be able to provide any motivation at all.

Thank you so much for being true friends. For being there for me and allowing me to be there for you. Now...Spark on, friends!!! It's a beautiful day!!! I'll catch you on the Friend Feed, eh?
SHARE

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
JULIA1154 5/26/2012 11:03PM

  You sound like a very thoughtful and generous person. I'm so glad to have "met" you on SP.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEATATIME3 5/26/2012 6:03PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WEARINGTHIN 5/26/2012 4:09PM

    I joined over a year ago, but didn't really get active with Spark until March, and started my new food plan on March 30th. I haven't been commenting on blogs. This might be my first one. I am glad you have had success in connecting with people, and hope somehow all of this has contributed to your weight loss and fitness efforts. Glenn

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIPPER15 5/26/2012 3:22PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCRAPPINPOLLY 5/26/2012 12:57PM

    I've been slowly doing that too. Keep up the great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLZ1967 5/26/2012 9:57AM

    I slowly started doing more and more on here too & love it all. Like you, I used it mainly for logging and points at first. The way I started making actual "friends" was actually through trying to earn more points, by "commenting on blogs". And my comments led to return comments and then becoming spark friends! And like you, I then discovered the joy of the "friend feed" and also use it to keep tabs on what they are up to and reading their blogs. I love it all! :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNRISE14 5/26/2012 6:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon appreciate you on this site and on the GOD ANSWERS PRAYER TEAM ! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUEJEAN99 5/26/2012 4:11AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAYARTIST 5/25/2012 11:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REENIE131 5/25/2012 10:16PM

    Isn't it amazing how people you've never met can become so important to you?

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYLH1 5/25/2012 7:43PM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SERASARA 5/25/2012 6:10PM

  emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYSTERY-LADY1 5/25/2012 5:43PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PCASEY7 5/25/2012 4:57PM

    Great blog! I'm starting to feel that way myself and getting more involved and we'll see where that takes me.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRYSTALLA 5/25/2012 2:57PM

    Great blog, keep up the great work. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HYATTI1 5/25/2012 2:35PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
IAMAGEMLOVER 5/25/2012 2:25PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TERRIJ7 5/25/2012 12:11PM

    I agree! I don't do Twitter or Pinterest, but enjoy time on FB every day. My spark teams and the friends I've made there are as real as many I have in real life. Congrats on becoming "Motivator"

Report Inappropriate Comment
CICELY360 5/25/2012 10:54AM

  Good blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARJORIEWRIGHT 5/25/2012 10:49AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REGILIEH 5/25/2012 10:05AM

    TY!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TATTER3 5/25/2012 9:39AM

    The interest you show to others and the time you take to give of yourself is what makes you the star that you are!!! Keep Sparkin'!!!Good job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SJKENT1 5/25/2012 9:35AM

    Lifelines... yes!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BIRDLSLAURIE 5/25/2012 9:33AM

    Sometimes this may be like a lifeline for some who are trying so hard to achieve a goal and it is nice to think that someone cares enough to reach out even if it is "just a like". Thank you for caring.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TANYA602 5/25/2012 9:19AM

    I feel your sentiments exactly! The same thing clicked with me about a month ago when I discovered I was more interested in the SP friend feeds and points and tracking than I was in what was happening on FB. As I read more and more success stories, I am more and more able to tell myself that I, too, can lose the weight, get my health back on track, and that it will take time and hard work.
Congratulations on your rock star success! You ARE a true motivator!
Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EFFRAYECHILDE 5/25/2012 8:33AM

    SP is awesome. I am getting into logging on about 5 days out of week . When first, it was only 1 to 3 times. Soon, I hope it will be every day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FARIS71 5/25/2012 8:25AM

    I will have to investigate this friend feed. I'm not to savvy on here yet.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERI03 5/25/2012 6:46AM

    emoticon I am also getting into the commenting and Friend Feed checking and I love it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRAMPIAN 5/25/2012 6:25AM

  Inspiring. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRESKA 5/25/2012 5:59AM

    sounds great! i dont know how so many people SEEN your blog!? i feel invisible on here! lol or maybe i'm just not that interesting. lol emoticon
maybe i need to join a different team or two? i'll pour my little heart out (well for me to share this stuff is personal, maybe not terribly emotional or something) anyway and then i'm waiting.. and crickets.. crickets.. and i'm like ok. ?? maybe i'm just a dud at this blog stuff. lol
but thankfully a few friends like you do check in and see that i'm sharing and progressing. and it means a lot to me! SO emoticon BACK emoticon :) and i do remember that . suddenly your friend list was like 20 something. then the next time i looked it blew up! lol i was like WHOA! miss popularity is here!! emoticon
congrats on your blog of the day awards too! You are doing amazing!
Enjoy that race tomorrow! post a pic or two! emoticon emoticon

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NCSUE0514 5/25/2012 5:41AM

    I'm beginning to struggle a bit, so I'm javascript:void(0);trying to become ore involved in SP

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANK16 5/25/2012 5:26AM

  virtual life is interesting, isn't it?

Report Inappropriate Comment
AWOOD1973 5/25/2012 5:23AM

    I find myself getting on here, just to see what you have blogged about for the day! Thank you for keeping us motivated and inspired with your writings! They are awesome! emoticon

Have a fabulous holiday weekend and good luck with your race! :)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/25/2012 5:29:05 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIZALOT 5/25/2012 5:12AM

    Wow! you're impressive, you really are! I don't interact much, and rarely keep up with all the friend feed info, but you're right, it's a wonderful experience. I must use your inspiration to take a more active part. I don't always comment on what I do either - like the half hour heavy digging in full sun yesterday, for instance.

You are a real motivator, I'll just have to keep on keepin' on!

Hugs

Report Inappropriate Comment
COURTNEYO5 5/25/2012 4:58AM

    Spark is pretty awesome..I find myself going on everyday and usually learning atleast one or two new things!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JIBBIE49 5/25/2012 2:06AM

    WOW, once again you're featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANCES-AGAPE 5/24/2012 7:05PM

    The WONDERFUL comraderie
is what makes SP emoticon

emoticon

emoticon WE can do it!

BLESSINGS!

emoticon emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
MARATHONDAD 5/24/2012 2:58PM

    it is like a huge family with so much support. I love Spark alot and have made many great friends. Would love to run with lots of them if I could

Report Inappropriate Comment
LILLITO 5/24/2012 2:22PM

    it does get 'addicting', doesn't it?

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAKAY228 5/24/2012 1:22PM

    My friends online have become so real to me too. It's amazing the support. One is on her way driving now from southern California to where I am in New Mexico to spend a few days with me and visit my area. We've met before face to face but looking so forward because we have found we have so much in common. I can't say enough about my SP friends! Glad you've found the relationships here too!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAMONAFLOWERZ 5/24/2012 12:30PM

    honestly, its the friendships i am forging here that are keeping me going on my plan... i have wanted to give up so many times and i've come close - but then a sweet friend will send a message, leave a goodie, a pat on the back and i'm back at it again... sometimes you just need more than just the people around you in real life, you know?

thank you for being such a positive friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCOTTPILGRIM 5/24/2012 11:43AM

    Glad to have you! Keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CALLIKIA 5/24/2012 11:33AM

    I'm with Jeremy. Make sure you balance what you need for yourself with what you feel you should give. I was like you in the beginning and thought I'd reply to everyone all the time, but after a while that just got to be too much and it was taking away from time that I was needing to spend on me and what I needed to make the changes and adjustments in my healthy life. That being said, isn't it nice to start to build a core group of people you can count on to encourage, support, and even just recognize you when you fly by? I think the community aspect is the thing that sets SP apart from a lot of other "weight loss help sites" out there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/24/2012 11:02AM

    I am glad you went from my Spark Friend to my Real Friend.
Virtual Leah was cool, but Real Leah ROCKS!!!
emoticon
Luv you, my Sexy Spark Sista!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JEREMY723 5/24/2012 11:00AM

    Don't overdo things and stress or wear yourself out. It's ok not to respond, to take time for yourself, etc. Just be careful to not wear yourself out:)

Report Inappropriate Comment
DANILYNNG 5/24/2012 10:56AM

    I go through and comment on any weight losses, positive exercise comments, fitness minute milestones - I figure, I love it when somebody notices that I lost 1 pound, why wouldn't they? Besides, I'm going to be meeting some of my Spark buddies... I decided to run a race in Indianapolis, for some loony tune reason! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post


Log in to post a comment.
 


Other Entries by LDRICHEL