Green Eyed Monster

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Every once in awhile, I get a visit from the little green eyed monster. Usually it’s not around much but sometimes it comes for a visit and reminds me that I am susceptible  to it just like everyone else.

I used to get the touch of green when I would compare myself to other runners. Of course, this was back when I was running a lot and training for events. I was training for Hood to Coast and I had my sights set on doing the Vegas Half Marathon after that. I used to get jealous of other runners who never seemed to struggle with it. They could run a marathon a month and feel fantastic! Yet, I was struggling to do 10 miles at a time. It was so easy to compare myself to everyone around me–they were so much faster, they recovered from running quicker, they never got injured…

Then I got injured and had to take a break. The injury was the clarity I kind of needed. It told me that I was not invincible and that I was a slave to my own body and it’s abilities. It was EASY to think I could do ANYTHING after I lost the weight. It was the self-esteem boost I needed and as a result I probably pushed myself more than I should in a lot of things. Like I said, I felt invincible. An injury made me happy just to be able to run ONE mile. Clarity.

Sometimes I get envious of other swimmers, too. The ones that are clearly on a swim team and are flawless in the pool. I’m definitely jealous of the amazing swimmers who are faster than me! It’s cool to see. I’m a really strong swimmer and I’m fast, but I don’t know if I’m as fast as the incredible swimmers on masters teams. Again, it’s easy to compare. There is always going to be someone faster!

Why am I jealous? It probably stems from feelings of inadequacy, not feeling good enough, wanting to be part of the “cool kids” group– i.e. the fast runners, fast swimmers, etc. Maybe we need to delve deeper as to why we’re jealous. Ask yourself, do you even LIKE running or do you just want to fit in? Check out this post that really resonated with me: My Running Story: Why I Refuse to Do It and You Can’t Make Me. Comparing ourselves to athletes who are better than us, especially if it’s an activity we don’t even like much, is silly.

I think a little bit of that green envy is sometimes healthy. It’s the competitive spirit in us. It drives us to work harder, push harder. How many times have you been at the gym on the treadmill and increased your speed because the guy on the treadmill next to you is going faster than you? I know I have!

I love this quote from Mara: “I believe that comparing yourself to others dims your light.”

We all need to stop being envious of everyone else’s abilities and focus on our own accomplishments. I’m pushing the green eyed monster out of my mind and I’m  HAPPY that I am able to run one mile after my injury and break.

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Stop saying, “I’m not a real runner.”

“This quote from Bart Yasso always makes me chuckle: “I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.” Like Yasso, I frequently hear people say they’re not real runners, and some of them have been running and racing for years. You don’t need to sub-7:00 miles or run marathons to be a real runner. If you run regularly — no matter what pace or distance — you can proudly call yourself a runner.” (source)

I’m happy that I have accomplished rehabilitation. It doesn’t matter if it was one mile and if I was slow. I did it. I’m a runner. Who cares if it’s not a fast one.

What do you think? Do you get a visit from the green-eyed monster? 

20 Responses

  1. I love that quote about dimming your light, it’s so very true. I have a best friend who is 5’10”, model body and great personality to boot, I’m a chubby 5’4” and i always felt like I looked horrible next to her, I compared myself to her, but in reality I need to compare me to ME, and I being the best me that I can? This is a great reminder of what is really important. Thanks
    Robyn recently posted..A Tale of Two Foods

    1. Aw yes! The friend envy. I’ve been guilty of that too. I’m 5’5 (barely) and it’s hard not to compare to tall skinny people. My sister-in-law is 6 feet tall in heels, skinny as a stick and can eat whatever she wants. Even though I’m really fit and at my happy weight, standing next to her I feel about 50 pounds heavier!

  2. I hear you on the Green Eyed Monster. I see those runners on the road and they make it look so easy and effortless. Meanwhile I’m looking like Honey Boo Boo out there. LOL

    I dealt with a lot of injuries trying to run over the last two years. Working on changing my stride and mechanics has made a world of difference. No more calf pain! But now I need to push myself over that mental hurdle that yes, I can do it. And then just do it!! I’ve signed up for three 5Ks this year and my goal is to run them all without walking.
    christi recently posted..Ten on Tuesday – 10 Reasons I am Happy it is March.

    1. Hahaha! Thanks for the laugh, Christi. I think I’m like you too. I’m pretty sure I look like a spaz when I run, not an elegant marathon runner.

      How did you change your stride and mechanics? Physical therapy?

      1. I’m lucky that my best friend’s sister is a PT. She watched me run on the treadmill and did a bunch of diagnostic things in her office. She sent me home with glute and calf exercises.

        Then she took me out on the track and watched me run and worked on correcting my stride and how I land. In my case, I naturally run on my toes. That was causing a lot of problems with my calves. I had to learn to run more on my heels She ran behind me and she’d remind me “heel!” when I was starting to strike on my toes again. I know it’s opposite of the whole mid-foot/neutral/barefoot movement today but I needed to get off of my toes! It’s working so far.
        christi recently posted..Ten on Tuesday – St. Patrick’s Edition

  3. Great post, so true. I started running because I thought I should, everyone out there with a weight loss/fitness blog was running. I tried to eat what others ate, and felt like a failure because their “3 easy miles” never became easy for me! I’m over it now, I could care less what others are doing. (Although, I am attached to your blog because it’s one of the more realistic and relatable ones out there).

    I’ve just stopped subjecting myself to things that make me feel bad or inadequate, no facebook, no reading blogs by 25 year old runners that I cannot relate to. I spent 3/4 of my life comparing myself to others and I’m tired of it, it serves nothing. Now I concentrate on getting information on being healthy and fit in my 40’s and trying to age as gracefully as possible. A positive thing about aging is I accept and love myself, I don’t care what others think of me anymore. I just wish I had gotten to this place in my 20’s!

    1. Candace – I love your comment and I appreciate that you think my blog is different and more relatable. That was my goal. I live my life without crazy fad diets, fitting exercise into my busy schedule and eating healthy plus enjoying pizza and beer!

      When I first started reading blogs, I read all of them and like you I started to feel inadequate comparing myself to them. I work full time and can’t spend my day going to Crossfit followed by hot yoga followed by a lunch at Whole Foods. 😛 I just couldn’t relate to most of them out there. Now I only read a few that I really like.

  4. Bart Yasso is one of my new heroes. Yes, the green-eyed monster does occasionally visit me, but I just turn it in to fuel to get better. Now, people much more fit than me are jealous of my run times! It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

  5. I loved this post Lisa. Just yesterday I was swimming next to someone who was an awesome swimmer, which I am not. But you know what? I ended up doing “sprint” laps trying to keep up with him, and I had a harder workout because of it. I didn’t end up feeling bad because I wasn’t as good, but I let him motivate me to make me better.

    Glad your green eyed monster is back in the closet! 😀
    Biz recently posted..I have to stop being a Waffle.

    1. Ha! I know what you mean. I’m a strong and fairly fast swimmer and sometimes when someone else is faster than me, that motivates me to push it. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not push yourself. That competition is good!

  6. I can definitely relate! After my bouts with injuries over the past few years, I’m just now getting back to running. I’m not nearly as fast, and can’t run as far as I used to. At first it was very frustrating, but slowly I’ve learned to just enjoy what I can do. Who cares? So, yes, sometimes that green-eyed monster sneaks up on me, but I’ve tried to focus on being grateful and proud of what I accomplish.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Let’s Talk About Sardines

  7. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, but rarely does much good come of it.

    I learned early on in my lifting career that there was always going to be someone stronger or leaner. So why even bother comparing? You will always be better than some and worse than others. That’s just how it is.

    Compete against yourself. So long as you’re improving over time, in whatever ways you deem valuable, you’re a winner.

    Cheers!
    Trevor recently posted..The Secret to Achieve Anything You Want . . . and the Surprising Way I Discovered it.

    1. Yes. There are always people stronger and faster. Sometimes I see this particular girl in the gym with a totally rocking body. She must lift weights all day long. While I don’t feel jealous, I definitely feel impressed by her body.

  8. A great reminder of who’s in charge and who’s important! I’ve often tried to beat others, but I’d never beat myself, which happens to be the important part…

    Taking a moment to think about the true situation always helps, maybe they can run faster, but how about you and your cycling ability? Not that those 2 are relevant examples, but just remembering to always look at the bigger picture never hurts 🙂
    Nick Goodall recently posted..The Rule Of 5 – Your Associations

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