Weekly Inspiration – June 4, 2012

This is going to be an odd weekly inspiration update. And I apologize in advance, but I’m kind of trying to have a revelation and wanted some input.

There is this girl I know, who I am working out with from time to time. In the beginning it was fun, and we laughed a lot while we did runs and whatnot. But then, something changed and it felt like every time I said I wanted to do something she would be like “Oh! Me too!” and then do it better than me. It got to the point where I felt like she was deliberately trying to compete with me, to make it so that she was always better than I am.

Every time she shared something with me, I got frustrated and pissed off and just down. Instead of feeling cheered on in my own accomplishments, I felt like she was being pitying. “Oh, you did a 5k in 34 minutes? How nice! I just did it in 29! A new PR!”

It made me want to not speak to her and to just write her off. I started to get angry and my inner monologue was evil: “This isn’t a freaken competition with me, and if you want to make it one, I can make it so that you lose. You don’t understand my sense of competition! You don’t understand at what lengths I will go to in order to shut you up about how freaken awesome you are and how much of a loser I am!”

But as time went on, I realized something – this is wrong. It’s childish and it’s jealousy in it’s ugliest form. So what if this person is working out two sometimes three times a day. Maybe this is all she has going for her right now and needs an outlet. Or maybe she’s doing it to escape reality because she isn’t happy, or maybe she has no idea how she is making me feel. All that extra working out is going to make her faster than me…

And I looked at my own life, and tried to see if I was using this as a scape goat for how stressed out I have been what with my job situation and Brian’s job situation and my Dad’s health and bills and trying to find time for friends, plus my own migraine battles…I’m doing the best job I can with what I have, and shouldn’t that be good enough? Why am I feeling like I need to compare myself to her? Or that she is to me?

Maybe I am the one making it into a bigger deal than it really is. Maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t really there. Maybe it’s just not as important as I am making it out to be. 

Thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Inspiration – June 4, 2012

  1. starpulp says:

    Hey! Met you at the Krispy Kreme Challenge! I was the redhead in the pink shirt suffering with you.

    You’re so right with this post. I have a similar friend and it drives me crazy. We used to run for fun & now I almost avoid her. It’s too bad really.

    I try to make myself my biggest competition, but sometimes I get drawn in by a friends competitive nature.

    We should meet up sometime for a run!

  2. starpulp says:

    Hey! Met you at the Krispy Kreme Challenge! I was the redhead in the pink shirt suffering with you.

    You’re so right with this post. I have a similar friend and it drives me crazy. We used to run for fun & now I almost avoid her. It’s too bad really.

    I try to make myself my biggest competition, but sometimes I get drawn in by a friends competitive nature.

    We should meet up sometime for a run!

    • jljohnson says:

      I DO remember you! 🙂 And I agree. I usually let my competitive side be just about what my last run time was and in this case I find myself feeling like everything I do isn’t good enough. I just wonder if it’s a me thing or if there is something deeper that I am missing.

      And we should meet up sometime! I’m always down for a new run buddy!

      • starpulp says:

        Sounds like a plan. Shoot me an email and maybe we can coordinate? We could run early Saturday and refuel at the Jax Truckies food truck rally at Burrito Gallery later that day. lol

  3. teresa says:

    Reading your blog, I can relate as I have enjoyed a variety of running groups and partners throughout the years (most quite positive and motivating). As a military wife, I have experienced a bouquet of diverse encounters and have learned from it that we are all competitive by nature in some ways. It can be a motivating, positive thing, or as you describe, envious and even destructive.

    I wonder if your partner understands how you feel? Tell her! Have you? Were you two friends before running together? It might be difficult if not?

    I think I can relate to you… I love running. I love catching up with my good friends and the short escape I am allowed from the family for a while – all while reaping the benefits of exercise – nice bonus!

    But, is it possible that you are denying your own competitiveness…”I can make it so that you lose. You don’t understand my sense of competition! You don’t understand at what lengths I will go to in order to shut you up…” I am guessing you do not shower her with praise and cheer? Try it … really try it and show it sincerely and see what happens.

    Some people write blogs with self reflective therapeutic intentions and then find an audience that clouds the true inner monologue and solicitations of pity (as seems to be indicated here) become more common. Hopefully, this is not your case. Good luck, life is short, run long.

    • jljohnson says:

      Thank you for your comment, Teresa. 🙂

      I have talked to this person about it before, and it would stop for a period of time before it takes off again. And of course I encourage her to do her best and cheer her on! I’m one of her biggest cheerleaders! The support we have for each other is immense. She’s one of the closest people to me, and she was there for me the entire time I was out with a foot injury just as I was with her and cheering her on when she was injured. This person has been at the end of every race I have run with her, pushing me forward and cheering me on. I’ve done the same to her on races that I couldn’t run for whatever reason. It’s not a matter of not cheering her on, or praising her. It never has been.

      And I’m sorry that you see this post as a solicitation of pity. It’s not that in any way. I simply wanted to know what others thought in this situation, which I thought I had made clear. Sometimes when you are too close to a topic, you can’t see the logic behind things. And sometimes when life is crazy, and you start attacking everything, all you need is someone to say “Yeah, James…I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Maybe you need to step back and think about it this way”

      Again, thanks for your comment, and I wish you lots of successful miles!

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