Comparison can come in many forms and is a constant theme in our lives whether we want to admit or not. We are constantly comparing; comparing lives, how much effort or work we do daily compared to someone else, comparing what we've been dealt in life, comparing things and items of "value" we own, comparing training or lack thereof, comparing races completed and finisher times achieved.
Even listing these items out feels exhausting. Comparison is not only the thief of joy but tends to bring unnecessary stress into our lives. Comparison can leave us feeling bitter, tired, depressed and anxious. To live our most fulfilled lives and reach our highest potential, we must stop comparing. Comparing lives, comparing training and racing, comparing in general.
When we stay focused on ourselves rather than comparing to anyone else, our growth is catalyzed. Specifically speaking to endurance sport, we are more in tune with our bodies and how we feel. We identify all the small signals our bodies send, so we know when to keep pushing and when to pull back. We recognize when we need additional rest or recovery and we take it. We are mentally stronger and overall, more full of joy. We can more clearly see and acknowledge the small wins we achieve along the way to our longer-term goals. This provides for greater overall well-being both in and out of sport.
In race situations we race smarter. We push when we know we can push and dial it back when necessary. We race smarter, fuel and hydrate more wisely and perform better when we are not focused on our competition. Post-race, we know exactly where we could have done better and where we would like to do better. Without focusing on the competition, we are overall more satisfied with our finisher time when we push and race smart like we know we can.
The key is staying motivated to train smart, push as hard and stay as driven and dedicated when competition against others is no longer our driving force. This is where our purpose comes into play and the driving force truly becomes you versus you. Recognizing and pursuing your purpose is the greatest driving force you could possibly have. Dig deep and go all in. Read more and reflect on your purpose in our article “Determine the Root of Your Why.”