Comparison is the Thief of Joy

The title of this post is one of my favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt, and it’s something I try to remind myself of on a regular basis.

In this world of social media and everyone trying to put their best foot forward, it’s hard to feel like we’re not constantly being compared to everyone else.

I often talk about how I’m a proud back-of-the-pack racer. I joke that I like to get my money’s worth out of a course. And generally, I don’t mind being on the slower side. I’ve met some great people while out on race courses as we hang out in the back of the pack.

But sometimes, as people are busting out amazing race times, I wonder if maybe I’m not good enough, even when I’m out there doing my best and breaking my own records. It’s a feeling I’m sure a lot of people have, as they watch others chasing BQs and Kona qualifiers.

One thing I’ve decided to do is be more vocal about my personal accomplishments, show that we can all be proud of ourselves, regardless of paces.

Last week, though it made me a bit nervous, I posed a screenshot of my morning swim. I swam 3500 yards on a Monday morning. While I often share my distances, I don’t often share how long those distances take me. But this time, I decided to go for it.

I was very tired by the time this day was over.

And you know what? It felt kind of good to put it out there. Yeah, I’ve got friends posting 100 times under a minute and I’m struggling to break two minutes (though I managed it this weekend!) but that doesn’t matter. We’re all at different paces and that’s okay. I showed up at the pool on a Monday morning and swam for 90+ minutes and I’m proud of that.

I have similar feelings about FTP tests. I’ve seen lots of cool screenshots from people taking FTP tests and I’ve never shared that because I always felt like my FTP was so low compared to everyone else’s. But my FTP is continuing to climb, and that’s the key. I’m getting stronger. I can’t compare myself to anyone else.

That said, I’m not going to hide my numbers or be ashamed of them. My FTP is currently 157 watts. That’s the highest it’s ever been, and I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made over the past year, coming back from injury and being able to start the season stronger than ever.

I guess the lesson here is to not worry about how you compare to others, but just be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. And don’t be ashamed to share them. I know I’m always excited for friends when they achieve a new goal, regardless of how my own goals compare.

One thought on “Comparison is the Thief of Joy

  1. OH MY GOSH…YES!! This is SO spot on for so many of us!! I’m so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone as you post your progress and achievements. It takes a lot of courage. You are crushing it!! Sub 2:00/100 yards…BOOM!!

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