Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Comparing- Don't waste your time!

I was running home today and got to thinking about weight and how easy it is for us to want to look a certain way, especially in running. I was browsing through a blog by Devon-Crosby Helms and she literally had just posted about that very same topic. I suggest reading her blog as well because it has some great insight.

I think a lot of people in this world spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others. It's as if, because they are not as fast, as strong, or as young as other people, they play down their abilities. I had a client who kept saying "I know I'm not as fit as your other clients" and I kept thinking, your way stronger and 6 years older than all of my clients! Everyone has their own strengths and weakness's. Shit, we even have different genetics that make us who we are. I can look at the cover of Ultra Running Magazine and wish I had muscles like Kami Semick (which I erroneously think will make me run like her haha) but too bad for me, it just won't happen. I think focusing more on the running and becoming more efficient at that, instead of looking like another successful runner, would be a better idea.

I have had people say to me, too bad I don't have your body, then I could run fast like you. It just makes me laugh because I think I look the opposite of most of my competitors. I am tall, have some meat on my bones, and an ass! But in the end, we all look different. No one is the same. It's not about what you look like, its about who has the most balls, and laid it all out there on the table. Who can suffer through the most discomfort and outrun their competition. Who came prepared on race day and trained hard to be there. At white river last year (I think I was 5lbs heavier than I am now) I remember looking at all the skinny girls at the start line. They looked so fast and I was a bit intimidated but not scared. I passed one just after the 1/2 way point and I remember thinking to myself "see Nicola, it's not about how skinny you are". I was clearly the better runner on the day and it had nothing to do with weight. I pretty much threw that preconceived notion out the window on that day. Skinny doesn't = FAST. Skinny doesn't = Winner. Skinny doesn't = ANYTHING.

I have struggled with my own demon's. After high school I became overly conscious about weight. I never not ate, but every nutritional label was read for its calorie/fat content, I became critical of others, if I ate very little one day that was a successful day, not to mention the guilt I felt after eating something "bad for me". This was all before I began running. When I started training for my first marathon at 20 yrs old, it all changed. I realized that to run as much as I was, I needed to eat well. I now have a completely different outlook on food and health. And thank god, because food, is such a glorious thing.

My take home message and challenge for every athlete out there- Love who you are and how you are built. Do what you can with the body YOU were given. Who gives a shit if you are heavier/bulkier/lankier/shorter/less muscly/different gender than the person beside you, if you can go give them a run for their money, boo ya. Train hard, train smart, and BE YOU!


Devon said...

I sometimes wonder if we were separated at birth, our brains seem to be on the same page so much of the time.....

Word to that!

Mountain Way said...

Good post Nicola. Could not agree more with what you said.

We all have our bodily predispositions. I sure know mine. Ha.

See you on the trails.


Unknown said...

I stumbled upon this post for me, and it was something I needed to read at this point in my life. Thanks!