Friday, February 1, 2019

Comparison is the thief of joy

Thanks to YouTube and other social media places, it’s now possible to read and view what other people are doing in their fitness journeys.  Often, what gets shared and posted are workouts performed by younger people, many who are bigger, faster, stronger and everything more than an average middle-aged man like Pierini Fitness.

It’s only natural to make comparisons of what they’re doing to what I’m capable of doing. Additionally, with an archival treasure of past training journals, I’m also able to compare what I’ve done in the past to what I’m currently doing. 

To compare how much I lifted in this lift or that lift, how long it took me to complete 100 burpees, or run a certain distance, such as 3 miles.  Or, how many pull-ups I was able to perform in a single set to failure.

These comparisons could go on and on because of how extensive my past training journals are.

If I had a chip on my shoulder and low middle-aged man self-esteem, I would be depressed because the fitness prowess showcased in so many of these YouTube videos and my past training journals is fitness superiority compared to my present abilities. 

It’s not likely that I’ll run a mile in six minutes flat or press a 175-lbs. barbell overhead for a single repetition.  Oh, I suppose both would be possible if I trained smartly to resurrect such feats but, dare I say this middle-aged man may not have the “ganas” to tackle such training.  

Pierini Fitness is more content nowadays to just show up to his workout venue, wherever it happens to be, and make a decent effort at maintaining, and maybe slightly improving, what he currently has in the fitness department however it’s measured – cardiovascular conditioning, speed, strength, etc. etc.

I’m OK with such a realization because at this point in my middle-aged man life journey, while these fitness attributes are important, it doesn’t take much for me to excel among my peers, thanks to the sedentary and relatively unfit lifestyles so many of my peers live.

And, I’m reminded to be grateful for what I have and to put it all in perspective best expressed by the late and great President Theodore Roosevelt that “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


michael said...

Makes alot of sense. I think this should be mandatory reading for everyone on a fitness journey. Things like You mentioned and negative comments can make a person second guess what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Like it says in the poem Desiderata, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” Bob