Run Your Own Race

22 August 2016

marathon runnerRun your own Race…

This idea has actually come up a number of times recently in a number of different contexts and as a principle applies to the way we do life whether we are running a literal race or not.

Run your own race. What do you think??

I’ve had discussions with one of my colleagues recently, with a group of mothers at a MOPS group and with my own daughters about running your own race and not trying to march to the beat of some one else’s drum as it were.

Recently I was in the midst of running a ten km fun run and there were plenty of people who were running faster than I was and plenty who were running slower, or even just walking the event and not running at all.

There was one young bloke who was walking it particularly slowly and I wondered why. Then it occurred to me that everyone has their own story. This bloke looked like he should be running it faster that me, but instead he was essentially strolling. What if he had just spent several months sick or in hospital and walking the ten km was a big milestone in his slow recovery? What if he suffered from debilitating pain and walking 10km was a big ask?

When I ran the race I didn’t break any records but, for the first time, I ran the whole thing instead of running and walking in intervals which I’d done before. It was a personal best effort.

My daughter said she was concerned that people watching their school cross country might think she was too slow if they saw her just jogging along, but she knew that she had done her training and trimmed quite a lot of time of her original run times and if she jogged at a consistent pace then she would be able to finish the race without stopping. That for her was a personal best.

One of my colleagues was reflecting on his performance compared to a number of others in our dep’t and wondering if he was good enough.
When I spoke to the mothers group we talked about being brave enough to just be ourselves without fear of meeting or failing someone else’s expectations.

In each of these scenarios – and they all occurred in quick succession – the same principle applies: run your own race.

It’s what I had to tell myself when I had people running past me in the 10km fun run… it’s what I told my daughter when she was worried what people would think of her running too slowly in the cross country… it’s what I told my colleague when he was being weighed down by trying to perform to someone else’s standard.. and truth be told he was way ahead of his own perception of himself and the person he was comparing himself to… and it’s what I told the mother’s group too.. that we can be caught up trying to keep up with others or even trying to keep up with an unrealistic expectation of ourselves.. we can forget that their race is not our race.

We need to run our own race.
be yourself

That’s not an excuse for just slacking off and saying.. “well I’m just going to do my own thing and everyone else can just go jump’.

What I’m saying is that life in all its fullness requires us to employ some effort, give our best; sometimes we have to lift our skirts and run a bit faster when demands increase, but when we’ve put in the effort and given our best, instead of looking over our shoulder at all the other runners in race of life, we really just need to stick to our own race plan, don’t try to be somebody else ….

‘Run your own race’..

Food for thought from my own life experience.

Karen DicksonKaren Dickson
Board Chair

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