This is my hero. Just look at that game face! Look at the determination in those eyes. He must be on his way to a personal best. What’s that? You think it looks more like a pain face?
Well, how ‘bout that stride? Notice the clear mid-foot strike! You can’t deny that’s impressive. And check out that ichthus shirt. This guy is wearing what he believes and leaving it all on the course.
Okay, he’s not my hero, but I’m proud of him just the same. It’s me running the Silver Comet Trail 10K on March 13th, 2010. I ran a personal best 49:56, which, lo and behold, is just average for a runner my age. So, here’s a question for you:
Does being average lessen my achievement?
In the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, Harold Abrahams (played by Ben Cross) said with frustration, “If I can’t win, I won’t run.” I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not forfeit a lifetime of achievement for a moment of victory.
Most of us are pretty average at almost everything we do, but we put our heart and soul and sweat and creativity and planning into achieving our best anyway. If that amounts to being average in a pond of 7 billion fish, so be it. Why?
What’s in an achievement?
Because we know that achievement is about enjoying our progress. There is HUGE satisfaction in discovering that you are now capable of something you couldn’t do just a few days or weeks or months ago. It’s what makes a kid excited when she learns to tie her shoe for the first time. Achievement is what makes hard work of any kind rewarding. It’s what made me weep for joy in Dawn’s arms when I realized I’d improved my 10K by over three-and-a-half minutes, just six weeks after a pulled back muscle left me bed-ridden for a week.
Did being average lessen my sense of achievement? Heck no, Harold Abrahams.
I ran. I wept. I puked.
(not necessarily in that order)