Run Your Own Race at Your Own Pace

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Sometimes it's hard to keep going on the path you're on when the people around you are on radically different paths, ones that look really appealing. Comparison really is the thief of joy, isn't it?

When we focus too much on what others are doing and how fast they're doing it, our own path doesn't seem so great.

And if we feel like we don't know what we're doing or where we're going, we sometimes feel like following someone else's path might be the best idea.

But we're all unique, and our paths are our own. No two of them are exactly the same because no two of us are exactly the same.

Sometimes people pass me while I'm running and I feel like I'm going really slowly by comparison. And sometimes I see people's pictures of all their accomplishments-- people who can run faster than I can even imagine running, far longer than I am capable of running.

On my best days, these reminders can serve as motivators for me to get up and go for a run, work hard during my HIIT and strength workouts, and strive to reach my goals. Seeing people pass me can make me want to run faster in a good way. Looking at other people's pictures and hearing about their races can motivate me to sign up for a race or push myself a little faster.

But on the not-so-good days, these things can make me second-guess my abilities. Spending too much time and energy comparing my life and actions with others' is likely to be unhealthy in the way that it can make me feel like I don't measure up, like I'm not making progress, and like I'm not accomplishing anything because I'm not getting faster or going farther. It can make me question why I do it at all. It certainly can rob the joy out of it entirely.

But the truth is that I'm out there to enjoy myself and to get some exercise, not to run as fast as I possibly can. Doing it that way, focusing entirely on speed, isn't as much fun for me.

And even if the other people out there are faster, they're not me, and I'm not them.

We all have our strengths. Maybe speed just isn't mine. And that's okay with me.

I'm going to run my own race, and I'm going to run it at my own pace.

I've learned from running just how important pace is. If I go too fast, I'll get wiped out, and I just might find that I'm not prepared for what I find because I didn't let time do its thing.

So that's my encouragement for you today: run your own race at your own pace.

That's what I'm doing. And, hey, maybe I'll see you out there!