Sunday, February 10, 2013

Run Your Own Race


Yes, I know, we runners are competitive.  And compulsive.  And obsessive.  And a wee bit crazy. 
But the truth is we are really more competitive with ourselves than with you.
And I think that is what makes us such a special breed and what makes running a special activity.  I want to explore this lesson with you a little deeper because honestly, we could all take in that particular lesson in running and transfer it to life in general. 
I don’t go your pace and you don’t go mine.  Your PR is just that.  YOUR PERSONAL RECORD.  The key word here is personal.  I’m not running your race.  I’m running mine.
And guess what?  We had different starting lines.  And we have different finishes. 
I’m not competing against you.  Sure, there may be a piece of me that wants to come ahead of you in a race (if we are talking very literal here). 
But in the end, even in the literal and not figurative sense, that’s not what I am looking at, not what I am looking for.  I want to do better than I did before.   
If you have ever watched a runner cross the finish line, chances are, they are not trying to knock the person next to them down on their way through the tape.  What are they looking at??  Yep.  The clock.  They are either looking up at a very large digital race clock or they are touching their wrist (stopping their personal timer). 
What are they doing, you ask?  Seeing how they did compared to themselves.    
It’s one of those great lessons that running can teach everyone, even those who do not run. We don’t need to compare our cars, our jobs, our children’s grade or even how we look to tell if we are successful.
We are all running a race against ourselves.  Was I a better parent that I was yesterday? Was I a better friend than last month? Am I helping the world more now than before?
These are the kind of questions we can ask ourselves ever day.
If we can’t maintain a PR in speed and pace because we are a little older, then we can do a greater distance, a different terrain, different weather conditions or number of races we participated in that year.   
The point being that we all need to keep moving forward, always forward.  Bettering and besting ourselves as we move along in life, in running, in relationships.
Running is a small window – an example if you will - that we can use as an analogy in life. 
I run for mental clarity and strength, for physical endurance, or fortitude, for discipline, companionship and for alone time.  And I strive to do better with every footfall.
Not better than you.  Better than the me I was yesterday. 
Come follow me!  Or simply feel free to voyeuristically explore our website,  atwww.spiritualeats.com

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