I’m going to steal Einstein’s quote a little, because so often in running we compare ourselves. We look to see how our running measures up to those around us. We look to see how our running measures up to what we expect of ourselves. And you know you more than likely look to see what the person next to you is running on the treadmill. But what if…..
Everybody who runs is a runner. We have all heard it, but often we don’t believe it or feel we need to justify. “I’m not that fast.” “I don’t do any races.” “I’ve only run a 5K.” On and on we go as if what we are doing isn’t enough. As if our effort doesn’t measure up to what the golden standard is, but what if there is not golden standard. If you judge your pace/distance to that of another person, you might just think that you are not trying hard enough. You would be wrong.
Here’s the thing….. My mother is 72 and knocking on 73 (sorry Mom). My mom is a runner and power walker. She has never run a race. She only added the running the last few years (yeah in her 70’s). She goes to the gym and she gets on the treadmill. She is building up her miles and we are going to do a 5K together this year. She is and has always been a bit of a force of nature.
Here’s the thing. She’s been going to they gym and using the treadmill. She’s pushing herself. She’s getting her heartrate up. She’s moving. Yesterday she went to the gym and did her run. She was looking at the woman running next to her that was running at over 6. My spry mother (Hi) was running between 3 to 3.5. My mother was working hard. My mother was pushing it. My mother was getting out of breath. My mother was running and giving it her all..
Here’s the other thing and this is one I’m working on too which is why I’m calling out my mom……… If at face value you compared my mother running at 3.5 to the woman next to her running in the 6’s, some might discount what she is doing. You might tell her what she is doing is not enough. You might actually be an ass because anyone who says that would be wrong. Just like we are wrong when we compare ourselves to those running faster and further that seems out of reach for us.
Like I tell my children, it doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are giving it your all. My mother is giving her all and that’s all we can aks of ourselves. Some days we don’t even need to do that. But if you are showing up, if you are trying your best, if you are being true to yourself; what more can you ask of yourself? Nothing except to accept where you are and be proud
If you are on the treadmill and your all is 3…. Go you!
If you are on the treadmill and your all is 6+…. Go you!
If you are running a 5K, it’s not just a 5K!
If you never run a race, but lace up your shoes, you are a runner.
If you are running any distance, you are a runner.
It’s all a mind game. Knowing what to push. Knowing when to push. Knowing your limitations and pushing through them. Knowing when it’s time to take a step down and not push. Knowing that you are enough doing just what you are doing.
It’s hard sometimes knowing that what you are doing is enough. We live in a society that expects us to be bigger and better than before. But the truth is that just getting up every day putting in the time and energy to do what ever you can is enough. Sometimes just showing up is enough.
If your are an apple, don’t try to be an orange and know that apples come in all varieties and they are all good. If we were all the same, the world would be boring. So look ahead at what you are doing. Don’t look behind at what you’ve already done. Don’t look next to you to see what someone else is doing because you will miss the joy in doing just what you can do.
It is enough.