Stop Running Someone Else’s Race

running finish line
Image Source

Have you ever seen a little kid’s athletics carnival? It’s the best. BEST. When the littlies go running- there’s no strategy, there’s no designated lanes- it’s just run like the wind and laugh your head off at the end. They run into each other’s lanes, and don’t really pay attention to what other people are doing. They just run. Run where they like, and they have FUN.

Then somehow we forget about the fun part. We start looking at what others are doing. We are given a set lane and we stick to it, watch out if we deviate from the path. And shit gets serious. Like warming up, wearing the right shoes, doing that weird jiggly jump thing at the start of the race before you get in the start position (I’m sure it has a purpose. It just looks a little wanky, you know?).

I am super guilty of this. I’m forever looking at what others are doing, and before I know it, I’m running their race. Huffing and puffing trying to keep up, or accidentally bumping into their lane because I’m not looking at where I’m going. I don’t give up though. Because I’m insanely stubborn. To a fault. Eeep.

run via funnypicture.org
This is actually me when I run. For realz. Image Source

When we are solely focused on others’ races, we lose sight of our own. And shit goes wrong. All our equipment fails us because we’re not using it properly. We stop taking care of ourselves because we’re so concerned with what everyone else is doing. To be honest, I’m not sure it’s entirely possible to stop it completely, but we can get back into our own lanes and moving forward. How?

  • Bring yourself back to the here and now. What are YOU doing? Where should YOU be running?
  • Pick the good things that you know you’re doing well. Write them down. Remind yourself.
  • Set a short term goal and a long term one. Keep yourself looking at them.
  • Talk it over with someone. Get some perspective
  • Change tracks if you need to. You don’t have to keep bumping into others.
  • Are you in the right race? It’s never too late to pull out and wait for the right race. Don’t force yourself to do something if it’s not going to get you where you need to be.
  • Look after yourself. Make sure you stretch before your big race. Be prepared. Know who else is going to be in the race, but don’t focus on their strategy. Focus on yours.
  • Sometimes no matter how hard you run your race, someone will beat you to the finish line. Doesn’t mean you can’t finish your own race though. Eyes on the prize and think about where you need to be for you. Maybe that race is your PB. Maybe you’re exactly where you need to be right now.

And if you’re not keen on popping on the running shoes and teeny tiny running pants (because really, who honestly loves those things?!), you don’t have to race at all!! We’re our own worst enemies with this shit. Just go at your own pace. You know if you’re doing alright by you.

running meme
Now that’s my kinda race

How do you go at running your own race? Are you like a horse with blinkers? Or are you more like those carnival clowns who have their mouths wide open and are constantly looking from side to side? In a non-creepsville way of course.

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  • Oh I so needed to read this today! I’m not just bad at trying to run everyone else’s race, I’m trying to run it at their speed too… a recipe for disaster, I know! I’m totally like one of those clowns but with your trusty tips, I’m going to morph into a horse with blinkers! Just you wait and see!

  • This is brilliant Sasha, I know I’m guilty of getting distracted by all the other runners… trying to keep up, trying to match their style… I need to just stick to my own lane!

  • Such a good reminder. There are so many things we could learn from kids. The openness with which they approach life is so inspiring. If only adults could be as open, trusting and loving and stop being so competitive, jealous and petty. We’d be so much happier if we just stopped comparing ourselves to other people!