Sometimes it is interesting to see how our society teaches us to compare ourselves to others. A lot of times we fall into that and somehow it just becomes routine and we don’t even realize of it. It isn’t any different when you are practicing sports. If you have followed my entries, you probably have realized that:
1. I don’t have a huge athletic background, close to non-existent.
2. I am slow. Albeit consistent but slow. Maybe I’m a little hard on myself because I want to be faster, but I’m slow 🙂
I guess my point, or what I’m trying to get across is that when you get sucked in the competitive mode of the sport, or in life you fall in the “comparing” to others mode. No matter how secure you are of yourself or how much self steem you have there is always a comparison that goes along with it. It doesn’t only happen in sports, it happens in our professional lives too.
In sports, now that I’m a lot more active that I had ever imagined I would, I’ve learned the hard way how to not compare myself. A lot of times, because I want to be able to keep up with Felipe, I get frustrated because of my slower speeds. He actually tells me that he wished he had my consistency, I can keep up the same speed for longer workouts or as I like to call it… “My only speed” where he simply goes all over the place blowing up a lot of times towards the end of the long days. So what have I learned? I’ve learned to be patient, to be consistent and to work hard.
Being patient is important, getting frustrated won’t get you anywhere and simply will frustrate you even more. Felipe keeps telling me that I am too hard on myself, that I have the speed and that just have to give it that extra “umph” to get faster. Being consistent is even more important, can’t simply go all out and burn yourself on a workout thinking that it will make you faster, but on the contrary, being patient and smart about it will actually make you faster. Speed will come with time. Lastly, working hard, I always told Felipe that I simply didn’t have any more gears, that my swimming pace or my bike was just slow. He always asked me if my arms burned during swimming, when I gave him the “not really” answer he said, you are not working hard enough. Maybe he was right, I wasn’t feeling the burn, meaning I was just at my comfortable pace, the pace that doesn’t get me out of breath and that fees just right. I started to realize that I was the one holding myself back, I needed to feel the burn, of course who likes that… No one… But maybe it was a good thing, getting outside my comfort zone and see if the magic happened.
Well, let me tell you, it works, feeling that burn has been a great feeling when I can see my effort is paying off. Just to give you an example I have been able to break 2:00/100yd on long swims (longer than 3000). I’m actually down to 1:56/100yd. Yup, I feel the burn but I didn’t do it all in one day, it was through consistency, patience and hard work over the last 2 months that it happened. Same goes for the bike and the runs, but I just wanted to give you a little example of how comparing yourself doesn’t really help you, it actually hinders your progress. The only one you need to impress is you.