Isn’t it funny how sometimes just saying it’s not makes it one? Canoeing with friends a few years back, someone said, “Let’s race back to the lodge.” Though we discussed and agreed against it, suddenly everyone was paddling a little harder to win this “non-race”.
I’ve been realizing lately just how competitive I am. In just about everything. From having a greener yard to doing more work, competition drives much of what I do. This motivation can be helpful. Where it gets out of hand is in things that are clearly not a race, but I’d still prefer to come first. That just gets stressful.
I’m doubt everyone’s this competitive, but it seems our culture’s wired to be better, smarter, faster, richer. There are lots of races to be running.
In a couple weeks I’ll run my first running race since I was 13. What I learned as a teenager, and am reminding myself now, is that if I try to beat everyone to the finish line, I may not even finish at all. Runners talk about pacing and “running your race”, which will be the biggest challenge for me.
What if the little voice inside of us saying, “It’s not a race,” is actually serious? Or what if years from now we realize we picked the wrong race to run?