Comparison is the Thief of Joy

This morning as I lay in bed, checking my Facebook, not quite ready to take on the role of “Mom” for the day, a friend posted that she got in a 4 mile run before heading off to work. It was about 7:15 at that point and I felt instant guilt that I didn’t set my alarm to do the same. The night before, I had briefly considered getting up for a run before my husband left for work, but decided I was too tired. (Seriously…I’m a teacher on summer vacation, so this excuse makes me throw up a little…HA!)

Well, as luck would have it, my hubby said he didn’t need to leave for work until 9:00, so I threw on some clothes and headed out the door for my 2nd post-stress fracture run. The sun was shining, and it wasn’t hot yet. It was the perfect morning to hit the dirt roads for a quick 3 miles. 

I was feeling pretty awesome for the first HALF mile. Then, I suddenly felt sluggish, couldn’t control my breathing, and honestly just wanted to take a walk break. But, I pressed on, reminding myself how exciting it was that I could FINALLY run again!

Around the one mile mark, God sent me this little angel. 

She was just creeping out onto the road and scared the bejeezers out of me. So, of course I had to stop and take a picture. And picture taking doubles as perfect “catch your breathe and chill out for a minute” time.

I had planned on doing a 1.5 mile out and back, but when I got to the 1.5 mile mark, I realized that if I just went another 0.2 miles I could see the lake, so I went the extra distance, and gave myself a little pat on the back for not being a sissy. 

After the turn around I was really starting to feel worn out. My Nike Plus app was updating me on my pace, and I was happy to know I was maintaining pretty good speed, but man, I was feeling it. The urge to walk was really creeping in.

And then, God sent me another little surprise! This time, it was in the form of a shirtless, ripped, 20 something fella. You know who’s not going to take a walk break with that running towards her?!…This girl! Nope. I kept on running. As we approached each other he gave a big smile and said, “Good job!” and I said the same. And, for a moment, I forgot how tired I was.

Then, I came across my turtle friend again. That turtle had only made it half way across the road. I had run over a mile, and she had only made it half way across the road. And that’s when it hit me. My 3 mile run today was REALLY hard for me. Three months ago I could’ve run 3 miles without even hardly working up a sweat. But today, it was a legitimate struggle. It didn’t really bother me that much, because I know it won’t take that long to work up to where I want to be. But, I know that for a lot of people that are just starting out, it’s really frustrating for them to struggle SO much and to see that it’s SO easy for others. And that’s why it’s so important to only worry about you and where you’re at.

I kept on running and thinking about that fast guy and that slow turtle, and about how I want to be able to run 3 miles again without it being hard. And I thought about how thankful I am to be able to run again. And I thought about how I want people to realize that it’s hard for EVERYONE who is just starting out, so don’t be discouraged. Just do the best you can, and don’t compare yourself to anyone but who you were yesterday. 

Because when you do that, you end up creating the best version of yourself.

Sparkle.Pounce.Be The Best You.


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