Hiking is a passion of mine.  I’m deathly terrified of snakes, so I’m not sure how or why, but I love to climb a mountain. Living in the mountains is really convenient for this!  So, what else would I do on a Saturday with nothing special to do? You guessed it, I climbed a mountain. Cumberland Gap National Park is one of the most beautiful views around when you get to the top.  The Pinnacle boast a beautiful view of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee!  This isn’t the longest trail, or the highest peak that I’ve done. Far from it, but that last 1.2 miles…it’s a climb!  I made the comment that I should not be so tired.

Then I got this response, “Hey, not a lot of people your age are in the shape you are in.  In fact, a lot of people half your age are not in this good of a shape.”

The words were meant to make me feel good.  Let me tell you, a lot of people are in much better shape than I am.  People half my age naturally have more energy…some law of nature that I should have enjoyed more when I was that age.  That isn’t the point.  I always like to make sure that my response is appropriate to my thinking process.

“I’m not competing with them.  I’m competing with me.  I am not in the physical shape that I want to be in.”

I said it and I meant it.  I see the woman at the bottom of the trail who is overweight, using a stick to help guide her as far as she can go. HELL YES, LADY! She had a smile on her face.  She wasn’t there to compare herself to me.  She was there for her.  I saw an elderly lady going up the trail holding hands with a man.  They were in jeans.  They were in no hurry, no timing themselves for a best time.  They were enjoying themselves. WHOOOWHOOO!

I can also tell you, neither of those people made it to the top.  They were making an effort.  They didn’t need to compare themselves to me or any other experienced hiker.  They were there for themselves and what they were getting out of it.  Good for them!  Good for me!

It wasn’t that I was offended by being told that I’m in good shape.  The point was that whether someone else says it, or we say it to ourselves, most of us have a competitive mentality toward others. What for?  I get it, I’m a huge football fan, and it’s all about the bragging rights of that win. #gosteelers  Even if you are a player in a competitive sport though, your biggest competition should be yourself.  Pushing your body to be it’s very best primarily for you!




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