com·pet·i·tive /kəmˈpɛtɪtɪv/ –adjective
1.of, pertaining to, involving, or decided by competition: competitive sports; a competitive examination.
2.well suited for competition; having a feature that makes for successful competition: a competitive price.
3.having a strong desire to compete or to succeed.
“I’m just not competitive.” It’s been my sorry excuse for not improving in running for three years now. And it’s partially true. I don’t have a strong desire to compete with others. I get so excited when friends and family start running; I’m always just hoping they will join me in my oh-so-slow pace. I have no desire to pass people in the stretch to the finish line. And even though I might start a race hoping for a PR, that doesn’t mean I’ll really push to get it. Some days I might, some days, I might not.
I love running. Running makes me happy, and now swimming and biking do, too. However, my life lacks balance most days. Most days, I don’t have the discipline to plan my schedule around my training. I hope I’ll make it out of work on time to fit in the workout. Set my alarm clock for an early-morning run, then hit snooze and opt for a few more minutes of precious sleep. Sometimes I can stick with my schedule for a few weeks or even a few months at a time, but it’s so easy to fall into a lazy groove after a setback.
I don’t really know when to push and when to hold back. How sick is too sick to run? More often than not, I err on the side of caution. Maybe part of that is because of my chronic health issues, but in my heart I know that’s not always the case. And while being careful with health is a good thing, I am beginning to see these excuses for what they are.
If I try to be faster, I could fail.
If I shoot for a PR, I could fail.
Really believing that I could do a sub-6 hour marathon means that I could end up really let down.
Putting it all out there means I might see that all I’ve got is still pretty slow.
Let’s face it.
It’s easier for me to keep believing I’m slow, not competitive, and that my secret goals are just out of reach. Because then my failures aren’t really failures, just more examples of what I’m capable of — being slow and smiling a lot along the way.
Here’s the problem.
I’m surrounded by some truly wonderful people who have me all figured out. They know that I’m capable of more. They see me holding myself back. And they’ve stopped being quiet about it. There’s a lot of tough love these days. Although I am terrified to admit it, I am beginning to think they’re right.
So here’s to putting it in gear.
Here’s to holding myself accountable.
Here’s to the season where I find out what I’m made of.