By Jill Koenig
That first 10k race was quite an experience. I jogged, I walked, I jogged and I walked. At times, I didn't know if I could finish. Then came a defining moment.
At one point near the end, a 70 year old man ran past me, very very fast, and I felt embarrassed that I was 50+ years younger than he and I couldn't even keep up with him. I felt defeated for a second. But then I realized something. He was running his race and I was running mine.
He had different capacities, experience, training and goals for himself. I had mine. Remember my goal was merely to finish.
How often in life do we compare ourselves to others and feel disappointed in ourselves when we really shouldn't? After a minute, it hit me that this was a lesson I could draw from. I learned something about myself in that moment. I turned my embarrassment into inspiration.
I decided that I would not give up on running races, in fact, I would run even more races and I would learn how to train and prepare properly and one day I would be one of those 70 year olds who was still running. As I crossed the finish line, I was proud of my accomplishment.
Oh, I know, I know, I KNOW!!! It is one of those cheesy, sappy stories with a moral. I hate them too!
Stretch yourself just a bit and look beyond the sappy and see that she does make an excellent point. How often do we go through our lives comparing it to what others have? And not just the neighbor next door's brand new car. Or the cousin who inherits great grandma's house. How often do you watch the news and think, "For crying out loud, if I had Paris Hilton's money there's no way I'd parade around like a 2 bit whore. If I had that kind of money I could.......!"
The desire to have more, to be more, to even do more, is not a bad thing. That dissatisfaction with your own status quo can become a burning drive to reinvent yourself.
The cautionary part of this post is more of a reminder to me that I need to also find satisfaction in where I am now. The life I have is pretty damn good and comparing it to other people's lives or even more importantly- comparing it to the life I COULD have had is a silly waste of time. I need to find the joy in the now.
Oh crap, I did it again. The Starbucks thing. Just shoot me now. :-D