…. my good friend and co-worker asked me at work last week. I had told her about my excitement with my latest PR from my most recent half marathon. I was so happy that day that I cried. I have been working hard lately trying to get myself in better shape, and to see the results of my minimal training made me extremely happy. I have only been running half marathons for three years and the PR made my 20th half very special.
That is until dinner that evening, when someone that I had just met that night asked me what my time was….. “What was it?!” he said, “were you under two hours??”. Right there. Someone who didn’t even know me slapped me back to reality and made me realize how slow I am and how much work I still need to do.
Or do I?
The question my friend asked me last week made me wonder, why DO I want to be fast?
I actually said “You know what? I don’t even really know”.
Self doubt, comparison and social media can be brutal. Do I want to be fast for myself? Or do I want to be fast so I can show other people how fast I am? I have never been a competitive person. Growing up with a twin was enough. People compare the two of you whether they admit it or not. So a part of me tends to shy away from competition because people will either see me for who I am or make up their own minds about who they think I am. And the people that don’t really know me…. Do they really matter? Why should I be concerned about what Joe Schmoe thinks of my finish time? Why should I be concerned about what people on social media think about my finish times?
(I’m not saying that these feelings of slow inadequacy will go away, I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with them….)
So the question to myself still stands…Why? Bragging rights are certainly nice, but then again, there will always be someone faster, better, stronger than you, so again, why? For the photo on Instagram? For the better corral placement? For the feeling of accomplishment? For myself? Am I afraid of being judged for my lack of speed? Or am I just too lazy to even want to try to become faster? Am I afraid of the challenge?
No matter how old you are, there is still something to be learned about yourself, isn’t there?
“You’re never satisfied. That’s what life is, it’s just this ongoing, neverending vacation adventure, you see. You can’t get it wrong and you’ll never get it done…..” – Ester Hicks
Nice post. I struggle with this as I’m starting back again after a long break (3kids!) And keep comparing current times with my previous ones. I’m so proud to be running again at all, so why am I even comparing?? Well done on your PR 🙂 we only ever “compete” against ourselves. So you won! 😉
Thanks Niki! I’m sure that finding the time to run with three little ones is hard, so congrats on getting back out there! I need to remember to compete with the person I see in the mirror. 😊 thank you for your comment.