I take my daughter to speech therapy. While she has her 30 minutes of therapy, I walk on the track (it’s in a building with physical therapy, occupational therapy, all that kind of thing). I walk for fitness, for exercise. I’m not fast, but I do try to put in 3 miles daily 5-6 days/ week. And usually do.
So, I’m walking along, doing my laps. Another lady, older than me, comes in and starts walking. She’s faster than me. This is not uncommon when I walk there. Often I am alone, but when others are there, usually they are faster than me (not always). I was sorely tempted to compare myslef to her. Some of my thoughts were, “She’s older than me, but faster.” Then I recalled something I wrote a few months back regarding the marathon and comparison.
The Marathon- Comparison- Part 3
Don’t compare yourself to me. You’re NOT me. You don’t have the same challenges/ gifts/ opportunities/ talents/ support that I do. Yours aren’t any better or worse than mine, just different.
Be who YOU are, who you are called to be. I was called to do a marathon. (And DO listen to that voice inside you! I never realized the full ramifications of finishing a marathon, and I know there are yet many many more good things to come of that.) There are some “nuts” out there who do something called Nine in Nine. That is they do (run) one marathon EVERY day for NINE consecutive days! NOT me! Kudos to them!
Back to comparison. I could easily have compared myself to the other marathoners. As I was still maybe only 7-8 miles out the “out” course paralleled the “return” course for a few miles. The fastest runners were already near the end, I had a long ways to go yet. I could have gotten discouraged had I compared myself to them. I didn’t. I had MY plan, suited to ME.
The Honolulu Marathon is a big one, well over 20,000 entrants. (Plus a 5K “Fun Run” held at the same time and place that attracts thousands more.) Over 19,000 finished ahead of me. So? I repeat, SOOOO??????
I wasn’t last (or even near the last), but even if I had been, so what?
My plan was to finish, and to enjoy at least part of it. I mean, a Sunday afternoon walk in Hawaii in December? How could you NOT enjoy yourself? Actually, I’ll digress yet again. I think you could not enjoy yourself. If you are so focused on the technique, the timing, the details, the method, you could miss the beauty along the way. I wondered if those fastest runners had a good time? For myself, I quit keeping track of time about 1/3 way through. I was on schedule- MY schedule- but time didn’t matter. Focusing on that was too distracting. I just walked, and looked at things. So much beauty in Hawaii.
I did finish and I can say there were many times (even near the end) when I truly was enjoying myself. I met MY goal. I don’t care what anyone else’s was.
Set your goals for yourself. Based on what YOU want/ feel called to. Your goals are not any better or higher or worse or lower than someone else’s. They are yours. Let them be the best and highest ones for YOU.
Compare yourself to YOUR standards that you set for you (hopefully after prayerful consideration). Are you better this day, this week, this month than yesterday, last week, last month? That’s the only place for comparison.
(This is not to say we can’t have role models we admire and look up to.)