This was me at about 5:35am this morning….after I’d been at the gym since 4, busting my ass! I was really hoping that the picture would show my burgeoning muscles….but all it really showed was that at the end of a workout I’m red-faced with wrinkled clothes and a dazed look on my face. But, alas, it is who I am and I kind of like it!
I got a comment on my blog this morning and I did respond to her comment in kind but I wanted to put it up here too. You see, after I’d posted about Saturday and how I’d nearly died pulling off my mile-row-mile, I read a post of someone I follow and her most recent post was about how she and her family did a team-triathalon over the weekend and she absolutely killed it in the run. And then? I felt extraordinarily stupid for posting my mile run times because compared with hers, mine are slow and kind of lame. I didn’t spend too much time thinking anymore about this until this morning, while at the gym, I got a comment on my last post from Ms Ima who was impressed with how hard I worked out and how she’s quite happy when she walks two miles or spends time on her bike. The first thought in my head was that she absolutely should NOT compare herself with me. Whatever she pulls off for her workout is on her time/effort/fitness/experience continuum and what I pull off is on mine. That doesn’t make mine better than hers or hers less valuable than mine. They are both completely equal for what they are. If you are pushing yourself, no matter where you are on the “everyone else barometer”, then you are doing what you should be doing. And then I remembered that I did that exact same thing to myself just the day before. I diminished my own success on Saturday because I wasn’t as fast as Tanya.
I did well on Saturday for me where I am right now. Ms Ima does well on her walks for her where she is right now and Tanya rocked her team-tri for her and her family where she is right now.
There is no value in discrediting someone else’s effort because it doesn’t match your own. And there is no reason to diminish your own success because someone else is faster or stronger.
On September 19, 2007 my sister guest posted on my first blog and in it she said:
The one other point I wanted to make was that it’s very important for YOU to not compare yourself to THEM. There are people who have been exercising their whole lives… they can go farther, faster, stronger and longer… and no one expects that out of you. Everything takes practice, including exercise… you’re only setting yourself up for failure if you go to the gym and see people who are making it look easy and compare yourself to them.
My sister is in the process of taking herself back. Back to self care and commitment and love and respect and health and wellness. Back to her soul that she has always had but which was forced into hiding for several years. It’s not going to be an easy road for her and it kills me that I can’t go and do it for her or with her or help drag her up the hill. She has to do it herself, she has to find that inner power, the spark and the drive and the love for herself to make it happen. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind her of her wise words and tell her not to compare herself to anyone….including her past self, the one before the darkness, the one that was 6 years younger, fearless and indestructible. Take your new self and learn who you are again, what you like and don’t, what feels right and what doesn’t, what gets you results and what is just a waste of time.
Tara sent this screen shot to me over the weekend and I thought it was really cool. A few days have gone by and I realize that life is weird and themey and her cool screenshot texted to me has so much meaning and in so many ways!
I wish you all a wonderful day, take care of the you that you are Right Now! And try to do one thing today that is specifically for your better health and wellness!
Well first of all, I never should have gone back and read that post… crying at work is frowned upon.
I really had it all together back then didn’t I? So profound!
I’m glad that you reminded me not to compare myself to the person I was six years ago.. It’s such an easy trap to fall into, knowing that years ago I would have been considered an athlete and now I’m just a person trying to get her life back together. Thanks also for reminding me of my own words that no one looks at someone else at the gym and thinks that they have no business being there. (Except for the guy that used to bring a Venti Mocha something or other and sit on the recumbent bike without pedaling… that guy should have been at a café, not the gym).
Doing something new and different (or old and the same but having been gone a long time) is really hard so thanks for the encouragement!
Sometimes I wish that someone could do it for me too but then where’s the satisfaction in that… Many years ago I wanted to do it for YOU!
Maybe you did “have it all together” but you were holding different pieces then.
You’re not “just a person trying to get her life back together”, you’re A Person Putting Her Life Together!
You’re gorgeous after a workout! That’s when I feel the prettiest…when I’m walking through the locker room to my car. BTW, I loved that you posted your times. Not for comparison, but because you were confident enough to do it!
Aw, that was a lovely thing for you to say, thank you. And you’re right, sweat is sexy!!!
I have to say it pleases me to no end to know that my comment had a positive effect on you. I feel like so often you comment on a post of mine and say something so important and positive. It is nice to think that I may have returned the favor.
While it’s true comparison is not healthy or all that helpful, I have to say you are very impressive with your workouts and it is inspiring. Not because I think I will ever be able to do what you do. Honestly, I doubt I will ever even try. But because you make me want to push myself harder….just like you are always pushing yourself harder.
PS – I couldn’t help but notice that you referred to me as Ms. Ima – Ms. Bovine would have been fine ;)….or even Ms. Bunny – I’m still eating like a frickin’ rabbit.