Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a humbling morning

This morning I got passed like I was standing still. It wasn't pretty. I was out running my usual loop (where I don't EVER see any other runners). It was still a bit dark, and I was running along, listening to Beyonce, feeling pretty good about my pace (8:04/mile). All of a sudden, someone shoots past me like I wasn't even moving. A little bit of my competitiveness kicked in, and I felt myself pick my pace up to try to keep up. It was to no avail. This guy was already long gone, and I was left alone with Beyonce, enjoying her a little less than I had just one minute before.
The guy who passed me is fast. Really fast. I know of him from running group, and he is the type of guy who wins races. By all acounts, I shouldn't feel a bit bad that he passed me. Still, it is a bit humbling when you feel pretty good about where you're at, just to have someone blow your pace to smithereens.
It reminds me of something my Dad told me when I was a kid, and it has always kind of stuck with me. He told me that there will always be someone out there who is better, smarter, faster, or prettier than you.  I know on the surface that this sounds like a terrible thing to say to your young daughter, but it isn't. The point he was making wasn't that I was not any of those things; he was telling me about the importance of hard work. If you want to excel at anything in life, you have to put in the work. And, no matter how good you think you are, someone, somewhere is always just a little bit better than you are, so keep working. I think this lesson is what gave me my sense of determination, and it helps me do things like run marathons and launch companies. It is one of my favorite qualities, and I am so grateful to my Dad for teaching me that.
Now that I am a mother, I find myself having this conversation with my own kids. They don't really understand the message yet...but they will.

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