Our Goals Are Different – Stop the Comparison
i make it a goal to run at least twice a week. i do this for two reasons; the first is so that i can create endorphins in my brain to help combat my anxiety/negative self-talk and the second is so i can eat more calories (you burn more, you get to eat more). the actual act of running is far from my favorite but the payoff is worth it for me.
my goal for running is to basically do those two things as i currently have no desire to be training for a race. i think it’s absolutely incredibly that people can run great distances like half-marathons and full marathons but that has never been a goal of mine. endorphins + cookies = why chelsea runs.
as i laced up my running shoes (i happen to love these ones), i got a text from my running accountability buddy beki (hiii) and she shared with me that she had just run her farthest yet without stopping! see, that’s why accountability buddies are so good because they inspire you just at the right time. oh and hold you accountable. we text-high-fived and i told her i was going to go run a 5k (that’s really all i need for those endorphins to start being birthed).
i usually let myself stop one to two times while running 3.1 miles around the waterfront because i like getting sips of water from the drinking fountains (as long as no pigeons are sitting on them). i also like stopping to catch my breath. there is just something about gulping down air while stationary that feels better.
sometimes portland greets you with interesting things on these stops too:
about 7 minutes into my run, my knees started aching but it wasn’t a terrible pain so i slowed down to see if that helped. it did help some but my brain started thinking “well…beki would understand that i stopped and didn’t finish the run because my knees hurt. that’s okay. that’s valid. i should stop.”
then i remembered the two reasons i run and decided those endorphins were worth it. i’d go just a bit farther and see how it felt. i made a new deal with myself:
“i can go as slowly as i want but i can’t stop running.”
that felt doable. it wasn’t about my pace anymore but just continuing to move despite some discomfort (it wasn’t a bad pain but of course if you’re exercising and you experience more than some discomfort – stop doing it).
here’s the great thing about living in portland…most people are pretty active so lots of people run around the waterfront, which meant most people were passing me. i’m talking white haired grandpas and a mom pushing twins in a stroller. i started to get down on myself that i wasn’t running faster and that all these people were better than me. or maybe they thought i was super out of shape or i should get out of the way so faster people could move with the wind.
then i remembered…they didn’t know the goal i was trying to accomplish.
they didn’t know my goal for that run wasn’t to be super fast, it was to go as slow as i needed but to continuously be moving. likewise, i don’t know the older man’s goal or the mother’s goal. maybe they were training for a marathon, or were doing sprint work and going to walk mere seconds after they darted past me.
this was an important realization on why we need to be focused on what our own goals are (and that they are allowed to change) and chill out with the comparisons. let’s be honest, they probably didn’t even notice me or not for more than 2 seconds because beyonce was cheering them on via headphones and were focused on their own goals.
it can be very easy to compare ourselves to others and yet we have no idea what goal they are going after or what they are trying to accomplish. this stretches to the categories of business goals, relationships goals, health goals and financial goals. our speeds may be different not always because of skill level but also what we are chasing – our goals are different.
happy monday and let’s remember to focus less on what others are doing (or potentially thinking about us) and be more focused on accomplishing the goals we have set out for ourselves!
now that i think about it, maybe i run for endorphins, to eat more and to synthesize life.