Comparison: good or bad?

cross-country-fbLast Saturday I participated in an Eastern cross-country run. 6.35 km. Before I registered I had already set my goal: I want to be among the first 10% in my age group.

I finished as 8th out of 14 men in my age group. The fastest was almost 7 minutes faster than I. I was a little disappointed. Then I looked for some good excuses. And I found them. I was the oldest in my age group from 40 – 55. I was not totally fit on that day. Some of the other runners were really ambitious – while I was only quite ambitious….
But it did not help much. Comparison told me that still more than 50% of my age group was much faster than I. That was bad. Then I remembered that I had given my best, that there is still some time left before the big triathlon event in Hamburg, and that for my personal development it is not as important to win as it is to come back after a defeat.
And after all that there is a God, who loves me just as I am – whether I run fast or slow!

In the last lap of the three-laps course when I was already pretty exhausted, a group of three runners overtook me, and I tried to follow them. And it worked. I could run faster than expected and could keep their pace until the finish line. Comparing my speed with their speed and trying to keep up with them had actually helped me to get to the finish line faster. Following the faster runners had made me faster.
Also in life it can help me to get faster to the goal if I can follow others who are faster than I – as long as they pursue the same goal:-)

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