“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” -Ernest Hemingway
Have you ever wanted to improve something about yourself, but didn’t know where to start? Have you ever felt like you had more to give, but didn’t know where to direct your efforts to yield results? What about feeling like you just aren’t as good as you know you can be?
You aren’t alone.
It can be pretty intimidating to look around and see the amazing things that people can do.
Personally, I have encountered moments of wanting, with no idea how to get to where I wanted to be, or even where or how to start. I have looked around the gym with envious eyes, wishing I could do what others were doing. I was killing my body; pushing harder than I should, all for the glory of posting the top score of the day. I wanted more weight and faster times on the workouts and I wanted it immediately, but the progress was just not coming fast enough for me. And I hated it.
Aside from being frustrating, it downright hurt to think that I wasn’t able to do what my mind wanted; other people were making it look so damn easy! It hurt to know that I wasn’t good enough for my own standards. I would leave the gym, not with my head held high in celebration of my personal records for the day, but in disgust that I didn’t set the best score. I always gave everything I had, often times leaving the gym with bodily hurt as a result. I couldn’t allow any happiness in my accomplishments because I didn’t perform to my elevated standards. I just wasn’t happy with anything unless I was the best; which was a rarity, and it totally consumed my life.
The constant comparison to others took its toll. I quickly became frustrated, which turned into anger. It spiraled out of control to the point where I lost interest in the healthiest and most consistent thing in my life, the gym. The place that made me the happiest turned in to my enemy because I was putting unfair pressure on myself.
It could have been the encouragement of others, or the sudden realization that comparing myself to others was a silly. Probably both.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that my true competition was looking back at me in the mirror. Thething getting in the way of progress was my own mindset and attitude. Only when I let go of the notion that I was in competition with others and realized I only had to beat myself, did I start to truly understand how I could perform to my true capabilities.
I’ve come to realize I’ll never set a world record squat or become among the “Fittest on Earth.” (CrossFit Inc.) I’ll never set records in a timed mile run or be able to perform the most burpees out of anyone in a 7-minute period. I won’t even be a better CrossFitter than the majority of those currently competing.
But it’s ok. I’m smilin’ big.
‘Cause I’m better than I was yesterday. And I’ve been able to say that for a while now.