Day 211: Reference Point

Happiness is relative. Well-being is relative. It all depends on how you look at it. Who and what you compare yourself with. It’s worth remembering this when feeling low. Because you might be actually doing quite well. It’s all about the reference point.

OK, I do know that I am living my own life and I shouldn’t moan about other people’s success, etc. But. It still makes going a bit easier when I think about some things on the absolute scale, rather than the relative scale, i.e. which means only in the context of myself. This is especially useful when thinking of my race results. I ran a marathon on September 12. No PB, but I finished. 3:22:05 is certainly the kind of result I went for. I did stick with the 3:10 group for 17 kilometres and it was nice and easy and then – out of the blue – my left hamstring gave up. 25 km of suffering in the wind. Yuck. But I finished. Sometimes it’s important just to cross the finish line. No matter how. I could be moaning about this result. But… like my trainer said “A few years ago, you would have been very happy about such time.” True. When I ran my first marathon 10 years ago, I was 1 hour slower. 1 hour, that’s an eternity! And out of the 20 something marathons that I have run, this was my 3rd best time. I can live with that. And when you compare it with the average result of all runners, then yes, pretty good. I shouldn’t beat myself up for this. And I won’t. Because I know that I can do better when my body is ready for it. It wasn’t really ready, not this time. I have some health issues. Solvable, but still annoying.

It’s important to cherish the things you do win and not cry about those that you lose. I didn’t get a new marathon PB but I did finish. No DNF!!! It’s the same for silver medalists. They are less happy than bronze medalists. Bronze – yes, I got some kind of a medal, I wasn’t 4th! Silver – shit, I didn’t win the gold. But silver medalists should be happy as well because it’s still a medal. Let’s not become McKayla Maroney who, after winning a silver medal, made that famous “not impressed” face, expressing her discontent. Girl, you have a medal! And I am saying the same. I’m not sad because I didn’t get a PB. I’m glad because I was allowed to participate in national championships. I’m glad because I finished. I’m glad because I’m alive.

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