Sharing finish line high fives at the T9k Chicago 2013

It has happened to me: that picture on Instagram (or Facebook or any form of social media) that suddenly makes me feel inadequate. It could be someone elses finish time, or their super bendy yoga pose or their perfectly cute and happy kid and their spacious living room in the background. In the blink of an eye I’ve compared myself and found something lacking: I’m not fast enough. I’m not flexible enough. I’m not a good enough mom and my house is most definitely too small. It doesn’t happen frequently but when it does I find myself suddenly feeling discouraged. Or maybe the opposite has happened. A glance at their photo and suddenly I realize I’m faster. I’m more flexible. I have a happier, more well-adjusted kid. My living room is more tastefully decorated. And suddenly I’m walking tall and feeling confident.

It is all too easy. For many, especially for athletes, the draw of being active is competition. It is in our blood. We train with competition in mind. We compete with winning in mind. The unfortunate side-effect is that sometimes that mindset trickles into our daily life: we compete and compare almost unknowingly.