It used to happen back in the day. Picture lining up in the neighborhood as team captains choose up teams for kickball, Red Rover, dodge ball, baseball, capture the flag or (insert your favorite team game here). If you are too young and haven’t had this experience, let me tell you, it was nerve-wracking. I was always the shortest and slightest person lining up. I can tell you I was never chosen first, and lots of times I was chosen last.
Standing there amongst my neighbors and friends, I couldn’t help but compare myself. Who wouldn’t? I mean, we were all standing in a loose knot, waiting for Bobby and Sally to choose the most promising athletes first. It was only obvious to everyone there that they were sizing all of us up. Who is the fastest? Who is the strongest? Who knows the game the best? OOOOOOOMG!!! It was enough to make you forget that you were supposed to be having fun.
The good news is that I no longer have to line up in front of Bobby and Sally. The bad news is that I sometimes pose as my own Bobby and Sally. Before you get the straight jacket, you should read a little more. I will work myself into a tizzy measuring myself up against others. I have all the same questions. It’s just a different era. When I start worrying about how much faster, stronger, smarter, thinner, wealthier, or luckier someone else might be than me, it is total disaster. Let’s face it. Someone is going to be ——-er than you…all the time.
I’m in total favor of healthy competition. It can be what pushes us to be more than what we thought we could be. Beware of that little monster that creeps into your brain that says you don’t measure up. I battle this monster all the time and some days I win and some days I don’t. The best way for me to avoid this battle all together is to be the very best that I can be. Competing against myself is the only race that should concern me. I might be slower runner than lots of people I know, but I strive to better my performance every time I train. I race myself. This is truly comparing apples to apples.
I encourage to you to give 100% effort in everything you do. Be confident in who you are, your abilities, your gifts, and your strengths. You are no longer waiting to be chosen for a team. Unhappiness stems from comparison, so leave that mess behind. This isn’t just relative to fitness. You know this applies to life.
Until next time…live well! – Toni Kuhel