We all know how damaging it is to our psyche to compare our lives, our bodies, our professional progress to others. It was Theodore Roosevelt who infamously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Equally destructive, though, is when you find yourself constantly nostalgic for your younger self.
An old race t-shirt reminded me it’s been 13 to 14 years since I was last consistently physically active.
I found myself wondering where that badass chick went.
The chick who did half-marathons, a marathon, triathlons, and that one super crazy off-road duathlon in Muskegon where I spent most of the race pushing my bike up the hill I had just slid off.
The chick who pounded out the miles every week: in rain, in sleet, in gloom of night. Like the U.S. postal service.
The chick who took on sprint triathlons not despite her fear of drowning, but because of it.
Where did that chick go?
What I’m learning is that comparison in any form — whether comparing yourself to others or to your younger self — is simply not useful if it just leads to self-criticism and self-loathing.
If you can use it for healthy motivation, then awesome. Go for it.
But if you use it to tear yourself down with no intention or plan of building yourself back up? Then no. We’ve got to knock that shiz off.
I can instead choose to remember what I loved most about myself at that time.
I loved that I could trust myself.
If I said I was running 8 miles, I knew that if I ran 4, I wouldn’t stop until I ran 8. Or 12. Or 16. Out and back.
I loved feeling physically strong.
I loved that I could push through “the wall.”
I loved that I could do hard, scary, freaky things, and I did, over and over.
If you’re like me and seeking to rediscover yourself, let’s remember that those traits we were so proud of back then are still a part of us.
We never lost them.
We just need to rediscover them.
Here’s to the joy of us rediscovering our inner badasses.
Have a wonderful day.