“It doesn’t matter how many fresh Bentley’s you have.”
-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Wyclef Jean’s 2000 song “It Doesn’t Matter“
As true today as when it was written. Seriously though, this ideahit me today while I was out for a run. I’m training for the 2015 Chicago Marathon as a St. Jude Hero (if you can spare even a dollar, please consider donating here). The reason it hit me is that I was doing what are called strides. Strides are little sprints where you build up to a full sprint and then come back down to a regular run over the course of a short distance (typically 100 meters, but they can be longer or shorter – mine are 100 meters). You then have a cool down period in between where your speed is irrelevant, but you need to be sure you’re able to perform the next stride at a consistent level. My cool downs are 400 meters.
I still haven’t explained why the idea hit me. So I was cooking during my strides, getting down into the low to mid 6 minute per mile range (6’15” to 6’40” is typical for my strides). They last about 20 seconds, and I typically ramp up very fast, and hold the speed until the end, which may mean I’m doing it wrong, but I kinda like them and they definitely make the workout more interesting without being so long as to make it feel impossible. For me, running in the 6’s is fast, and I feel fast and like I’m accomplishing something.
So here’s where it hit me. As I was doing my last stride, I realized that my 6’30” pace was still over a minute per mile slower than what the elites run an entire marathon at. So my little 100 meters is roughly 1/422 of the distance, and I certainly don’t expect I could keep it up for another 421 of them.
Wow, I’m nothing. Or am I? See, this is the moment where I sort of giggled and said, “So what? It doesn’t matter.” I’m not an elite runner. I’m not competing with them. I’m not even just a regular professional runner. I’m not expecting to be the top 100 in Chicago, though I am expecting to be in the top 100% in that my goal is to complete the marathon and feel good about my achievement on that day and all the days leading up to it (I will have done 167 days of training before the marathon). I don’t make my living running, but running does help me live. That’s good enough for me.
If I was an elite runner, then it would matter. But then I’d likely be looking at my 6’30” pace and considering that a recovery run at a slow speed or something. I wouldn’t be an elite runner if I couldn’t consistently put in distance at 5 minute mile pacing. So, again, it wouldn’t matter.
We are surrounded by examples of greatness in performance, wealth, leadership, smarts, looks, etc. And those people may be great, but that doesn’t make us less. It doesn’t mean our achievements aren’t to be appreciated and celebrated. At the very least by ourselves if not by others.
And, no, I don’t have any fresh Bentleys…or unfresh Bentleys, for that matter. Though I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in the past year, if that’s worth anything.[tweet_box design=”box_12_at” author=”newbodies”]respect what you achieve relative to what else you achieve, not what someone else does[/tweet_box]
So the message here is to respect what you have achieved relative to what else you’ve achieved. Not what someone in a magazine, TV show or right next to you has or hasn’t done. Celebrate yourself. [tweet_dis]Fill yourself with pride and a sense of self-worth and you’ll see how you enlighten.your.body[/tweet_dis].