No matter how much you try, it's difficult to avoid the comparison game.
I joined a gym a few weeks ago so I could walk on the treadmill during the winter months. Walking is sort of my thing, mostly because I'm 51 and multiple injuries have stopped me from doing much else. But walking is good.
I'm not really a treadmill person, though. So I don't have a baseline. I initially set my pace at 2.7 miles per hour and walked for forty minutes. I felt pretty good about that until three days into my new routine, I had a callous the size of Vermont on my "good" foot due to an insert. The callous was so big that I went to see a doctor, thinking it might be something else. Nope. Just a callous. That was probably the most embarrassing doctor visit I've ever taken.
So, I tweaked my shoe setup and set a new pace: 2.5 miles per hour for forty minutes. I felt pretty good about that, too. Until one day, a guy on a treadmill to my right was jogging sideways, and a guy on my left was actually jogging backward. My brain can't even comprehend jogging backward on a treadmill. Which direction would you step? I have no idea.
Since then, I've seen people running at 7.0 miles per hour at an incline that would probably cause Jillian Michaels to gasp for breath three minutes in.
Meanwhile, I trudge along at 2.5 miles per hour while holding on to both handrails for dear life. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I've been listening to sermons, podcasts, and music - feeding my soul while working my body. I'm not much of a multi-tasker, but that's a pretty good combination if I do say so myself.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed this Christmas season, for whatever reason, know that there will always be people who can run backward on a treadmill, or seem to have the lungs to conquer Mt. Everest, but your task is your task. Your life is your life. Set your course and walk your path. Or run. Or sprint. However you conquer it, make sure you enjoy the journey.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.