I arrived at my first 5K, put on my race numbers and started looking around.
Looking around was a bad idea. I started to wonder what I had signed myself up for.
People were stretching, which I expected. But a lot of people were stretching their arms.Do I need to stretch my arms? Are my arms key to running? Have I been missing this all along?
The race started at the indoor rec center of a local college. It has a track. People were running on the track. What?! People are running before we start running a race? Did I miss something else? Why would I want to run before I go run?
I started seeing people I knew. People I knew were good runners. People that made me wish I could be invisible.
I felt way out of my league.
Looking around can do that to you.
The problem with looking around is that we have a tendency to look at the best and compare to our worst.
I was attempting my first 5K and couldn’t stop looking at a woman who was obviously a serious runner. In fact, she ended up being the best female runner. She was the top finishing woman. She won a new pair of shoes.
Why would I compare myself to the champion when I was attempting my first 5K race ever?
Why do I compare myself to pictures of models who have had hours of professional hair and makeup work, are photographed in perfect lighting, and then have their picture edited before it’s published? (See the video in Jessica’s post from Monday.)
Why do I think everybody else has their life all together?
I wish I had the answer to these questions.
The only comparing I should do is comparing my today with my yesterday. Or my today with my last year. Or my today with my five years ago. When I do that, I see progress and change. And it’s progress and change that only I can control.
Let’s stop looking around and comparing ourselves to others. Let’s instead compare where we are to where we used to be.