This morning as I used a treadmill at the fitness room, someone was using a treadmill next to me. Usually I am alone. I found it hard not to peek over at her panel and see the incline (lower than mine) and her speed... a constant run. I was walking, with running intervals. Her speed was .5 higher than my run. Her age about 30 years younger.
I laughed inwardly at my desire to glance at her panel. I cannot compete with young whipper snappers, nor do I want to. I hoped that my pace helped her feel good about herself. I hoped that she would feel determined to keep exercising and staying fit so she would not be an overweight middle aged woman on a treadmill taking glances at her neighbor.
I applaud myself for being there at all, in a fitness room with other people. There was a time in my life that I would not exercise in front of others.
Reflecting on how it's easy to compare myself to others, I thought of how it's taken me years to get comfortable with myself. Years to learn what works for me... what foods... what exercises... what routines. There's freedom in letting go of comparisons, finding that niche, and competing only with myself.