Removing the Word “Only”

Something I have tried to do the last year is removing the world “only” from my training vocabulary.  For instance, I “only” ran 5 miles or I “only” ran an 8:30 paced run…my only could be someone’s best pace.  Their only could be my best pace.  I only had 5 comments on this blog post or I only got 10 page views…It just sets yourself up for comparison.

Plus using the word only, I’m downplaying my accomplishments.  “Only” running a 5k of a bigger race series is still an accomplishment.  Only running a mile or only recovering when needed are equally as important as running that 20 mile long run.

Why do we put ourselves down and belittle our accomplishments?  Why do we compare ourselves to others? 

Part of this (in my opinion) has to do with the fact that you can post everything on social media.  When we have a great race, people say nice job everywhere.  On a blog, on twitter, on facebook, on dailymile, on instagram…everywhere.  It’s almost as if you are waiting for that nice job or wow you did what?!  Has our society moved towards needing and seeking constant approval from others?

What happens when you decide you need more rest or do shorter runs for a while?  Case and point: Last week I ran a total of 47 miles.  This week I will run something similar. For me personally, that is a low mileage week.  I didn’t “only” run 47 miles, I just ran 47 miles.  Not once in my race recap at the NJ half marathon did I mention I had only run a 1:27.  I just said my splits and carried on.  Comparing yourself to anyone (including yourself) just gets tiresome.

With the ability to share and overshare everything, there is an easy ability to compare everything.  It’s not hard to start reading blogs and start comparing yourself.

I used to find myself doing this a lot more with food.  I’m a terrible cook.  About half of the things I cook are burnt/crusty.  I used to read a lot more food blogs and recipes with great and beautiful food.  I would find myself comparing myself to their amazing work.  Why can’t I do that?

Then I would compare myself with blogging.  I don’t get paid to blog. I don’t get a lot of free stuff.  I’m not complaining I’m just stating the facts.  It’s easy to compare who gets more stuff, who has more blog readers, who gets more page views…who really cares is my thought.  Each blog I read is uniquely different and if I didn’t enjoy reading them or found myself comparing them, then I would stop…that was a huge lesson I learned last year.

Then there is there is the comparison of running or working out.  Personally I think this is the hardest to even compare.  No one is training for the same race with the same time goal.  I remember someone once said to me “Imagine taking two identical twins and training them the exact same way for a race.  They do everything the exact same way.  Everything is the same.  Nothing is different.  Training, food, life, environment is all the same…one will progress faster.  One will be better.”  Now imagine if you did that with two people that were not identical twins?  Point blank: you cannot compare yourself to anyone.

Questions for you:

What words do you remove from your vocabulary?

Do you find yourself comparing?