Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.


on August 21, 2014


My friend posted this on Facebook the other day and got me thinking about writing this post: “If you compete with everyone else, you will become bitter. If you compete with a previous version of yourself, you will become better. It’s as simple as that.”

Now, I don’t know where she found this quote, or who said it, but the timing couldn’t have been any better. I’ve always had a problem with comparing myself to other people. I know this, it’s obvious, yet I can’t seem to flip that switch in my head. I get incredibly upset during group classes of any type when I can’t do something that seems so simple for others. Or during a race when all these people are just hopping and skipping along and I’m huffing and puffing and dying. Yes, I’m leaps and bounds more fit than I was before, but frustrated at the same time.

I enjoy my running alone time because I only compete with myself. Or my watch, depending on the day. I don’t have anyone else around to worry about getting me into that mindset, not that it’s their fault. Maybe that’s why I’ve shied away from taking too many classes, although finances do play a part and I try to conserve my class cards. I’m frustrated with even my own progress, never mind everyone else there.

What’s really put me in a funk lately is that Tara came to Unleashed for the first time with me on the 14th for an OCF class. She made it over the wall. The same 6 ft wall I’ve been trying to get over since January. Her first class. I was SO incredibly happy for her, so amazingly proud of her, but in my head I wanted to quit the class right then and there and go home. Let’s not forget, my coworker Tom came to that same class for the first time and also made it over the wall. And the countless classes I’ve taken with newbies in their first attempt getting over that wall. It’s like my own personal hell whenever I take that class.

I don’t want to feel this way. I know it’s stupid. I feel ridiculous even writing this, but maybe it will help me sort through some things. I really don’t like my brain sometimes.






18 responses to “Comparison

  1. Aww, I know it’s so so hard to not compare and I know at the same time you are extremely proud of Tara (You go girl!) so the emotions kinda conflict there. But you have your own struggles and I’m sure there are things that she will struggle with that you aced. ((HUGS))

    • Courtney says:

      That was the thing, too. She’s amazing at everything! She’s creative, a good cook and so many other things so I thought athletics would be my thing (like it’s always been), but she’s good at that too! LOL

  2. Kristin says:

    I know you’ll get over that wall, both literally (the wall at class) and figuratively (you’ll find inner peace with yourself/realizing you’re doing a fabulous job at class and in life). Have confidence!! You’re amazing!! XOXO!!

  3. dgobs says:

    You’re certainly not alone! I try really hard not to compare myself with others but I do it all the time anyway. It’s frustrating and annoying knowing you don’t want to do it, but *not* doing it is easier said than done. Still, like Kristin said, you’re amazing! Like you wrote, you’ve come leaps and bounds… just imagine how many more leaps and bounds you’ll be as you keep at it! When I get discouraged as I compare myself to other people, that’s what I try to tell myself… I’ll continue to get better if I just ignore my silly brain and keep going! 🙂

  4. I know for a fact I couldn’t get over that wall! You are much stronger than me so I know you will get over it soon enough. And when you do it will feel soooo good because you have been working at it for so long. Keep your head up and keep trying!

  5. I dont think it’s stupid, not one bit. I remember that I always felt discouraged because no matter how hard I worked, I still wasn’t coming up to marathon times that I wanted to be at. It was so frustrating-I would leave the race in tears. Now I think I’m in a much better place.
    Getting over the wall is the same for me as getting a BQ. So close, frustrating when I see others do it who aren’t me and I know don’t work as hard as me. But goddammit it sure does motivate me to push myself. Don’t EVER give up. You will get over that wall!

  6. d20girl says:

    It’s such a valid thing to get discouraged and pissed when something that is so hard for you is easy for someone else. My husband is 6 foot tall and has huge lungs. I run all year long and yet, he can sit for a year, then lace up running shoes and do a 3 mile run without training. You bet it ticks me off! You can only compete with and compare yourself to yourself. And you have come so far and done such amazing things!

  7. Oh, it is so hard not to compare sometimes. I know we all know we shouldn’t, but it can be tough. So sorry.

  8. osarah26 says:

    I know exactly what you mean- it’s so frustrating to feel like I’m doing a good job and then see that other people effortlessly do it better seems almost unfair! I really try hard sometimes to remember not to compare myself with others because there’s too many variables that will affect our fitness differently. Hell, I don’t even compare myself to myself anymore because that gets discouraging sometimes too! Whatever you’re doing is awesome simply because you’re doing it, so keep up the good work!

  9. Hey Courtney! I just wanted to let you know that you are amazing! And that you are an inspiration. Your honesty, your sincerity is so very brave and I think your posts speak to so many of us.

    I know how frustrating it can be to feel like people are rushing past you, and the tendency to compare yourself to others is a common struggle, I think, for most athletes. Just remember that you are on your own journey. Focus on the things that you have accomplished. Mark those victories, no matter how small they feel (because they’re not!). And one day you’ll look up and be amazed at where you are. At the things you can do, at the fears and obstacles you have overcome.

    You goals should be short term and long term. And far reaching. Beyond getting over that wall, it’s about finding yourself, living a healthy and long and happy life, of seeing and doing more, etc. And maybe when you feel overwhelmed or as if you are lagging behind, you can focus your thoughts on your greater goals and accomplishments. I think one of the things most of us struggle with is seeing ourselves. Seeing the things that make us unique and worthwhile, and maybe Tara can help you with that. Because “You are unrepeatable.”

    Maybe in the end we have to remember that everyone struggles. All of us, at some point. As a 5:10 miler I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, of not being tough enough, of never amounting to anything as an athlete, of feeling like I’d let my team down. Looking back at that now, I know it was crazy! I was awesome! I was doing amazing things! But even then, I doubted myself. I doubted my self-worth and I belittled my accomplishments. You have to be forgiving, You have to see yourself (or try). And you should make every effort to be your best cheerleader. Because you deserve it! 🙂

    Sports have a great way of pushing us into emotional and intellectual places we wouldn’t normally find ourselves in, of forcing us to see and overcome the seemingly insurmountable, of pushing through our limits. Sports are a great exercise in struggle, perseverance, mental toughness. And you’re doing great! 🙂

    Sorry for the long response – This issue really struck a chord with me.

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