Your fitness journey is unique… let’s end the ‘comparisonitis’!

by | Feb 14, 2017

I’ve recently started to swim again. It’s never been my favourite activity and I lack good technique with front crawl but in fact, I’m loving it! It’s a great way to really stretch out whilst being weightless and I can feel the benefit in my shoulders already. Sometimes I just bob along on my back, kicking my legs, floating up the pool. It’s a little ‘me time’ if nothing else!

During my swim times, I’ve noticed a woman powering up and down the lanes. Great technique with front crawl, clearly a very adept swimmer. I found out today that she swims 250 lengths! This is equivalent to 5k. Wow! Not only this, she does it twice a day… one hour before work in the morning and one hour after work plus a wild swim on Sundays. Interestingly, after more than a few minutes of admiration, my next feeling was one of inadequacy. Even though I exercise daily, this woman’s commitment is on a whole new level. What gives her this drive? Am I doing enough?

‘Comparisonitis’… our worst enemy!

The mere word sounds like a disease and it is a sort of ailment because when we compare our fitness journey to others, we’re liable to just give it all up. The chap who told me of this woman’s mammoth swimming efforts is a classic example. He was hiding in the sauna… “I wait until she’s finished before I do my meagre ten lengths”. Why? His ten lengths beat sitting on the sofa? However, the comparison to super swimming lady, belting through the pool like a water born cheetah is enough to make him feel he’s not doing enough. He is! His journey is his own. We are wrong to look at others, we need to keep the focus on our own progress.

Every body is unique. We can work on our strengths and become ever better and we can work harder at the areas where we are challenged… this might be swimming for one person, balance for another, upper body strength for someone else. The list goes on. The vital thing is that we keep going, we don’t lose faith, we take pride in small steps and be inspired, not dented by what we see around us. I think I may take a lesson in front crawl…