competitive people scare me|running

I should preface this post by saying that I was once a competitive person. Not the kind who partook in sports and arm wrestles and other competitive games where healthy forms of competition are welcome and necessary. No, no, no, that would be all too normal.

As a once competitive person, I was the silent, stealthy type. I was the kind of competitive person who pretended not to care when someone backed in a parking spot, that I was eye-ing for 10 minutes, faster than me.

I gave up on that whole competitive thing as I aged, however. I changed because to be a competitive person, means to be an unhappy person. You can’t really be happy with what you have because you’re always thinking, plotting, planning how to get what others have.

You lose sight of your own self and journey because you’re focused on that of others.

Competitive people scare me.

Life is too short to compare yourself to others. It’s too short to focus on others’ journey and not on your own. Life is too short to be competitive with any one but yourself. This last thought occurred to me in my run this morning. It was at the end of my run, when I’m most tired and most likely to give up.

As the cool air rushed against my face and with no one else there with me, however, this time I kept going. I wasn’t competing with anyone, but myself.

When you run long distances, you have to channel your mind and focus on your breath. You feel and hear your breath and block out other distractions, and just go. You compete with yourself. In that moment, you get that it’s your journey and that in order to keep going, you must keep going.

STOP.

Any other runners out there? How do you make it through longer distances?

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