Again, I’m a “finisher”. I ran this same race back in 2010 – and I finished this time over 3 mins FASTER than before! My post about this race in 2010 was introspective. This time however an interesting thing happened during the run.
An old man shuffled past me in the last mile and said “If I can do it, you can too!” I found his words to be very annoying, but I wasn’t immediately sure why.
No, I don’t believe he was trying to encourage me as much as he was bragging about himself, and yes, his feet were dragging the ground in a terribly annoying fashion. But I think what truly annoyed me was deeper than being passed by an old man with terrible running form who was proud of himself.
The most annoying part of his statement is the idea that because one person can accomplish something – that somehow that makes the ability for you to accomplish it obvious.
There was a picture in the social news streams recently of a Maria Kang with her three children and in the picture she is showing off her abs with the caption “what’s your excuse?”
It caused a lot of uproar, which I didn’t get at the time. Mrs Kang was looking to promote healthy lifestyles and the photo was her way of saying “if I can do this with 3 children including an 8 month old – you can too!”
I think I was blinded by her amazing abs. Now when you package that message into a 70-something yr old man shuffling his feet during a 7.45 mile run – I see clearly.
No – just because he or she can do it doesn’t mean anyone else can. We all have our own challenges and I can’t fully know yours just like you can’t possibly fully know mine. If you are making positive changes in your life – good for you. If you are having difficulty, I hope you find the strength you need. Besides… if I can do it, then you can (be impressed with me) too!