I am a competitive person and I love competition.  Some people think that competition is a bad thing. I think it is all about perspective. What are you competing with? On today’s run I had already ran 2.5 miles when a guy came out of nowhere and started running in front of me. Now I’ve never seen this guy before.  So as he darts past me I was like well he’s faster than me but I kept running at my same pace. I notice that at my pace I was behind him but still keeping up. Then he started walking and I saw that as my opportunity. See, I created my own competition.  So I started running a little faster. And I passed him! But my victory was short lived when he passed me again and stayed ahead of me for a good 2 miles. Instead of getting discouraged I kept my pace. When he would walk, I would continue to run. Slowly but surely right near the end of my 5 mile run I caught up to him again and passed him! I really wanted to turn around and give him a high five but thought that might be a little awkward especially because he had no idea we were competing and he was a total stranger. Sadly, instead of a high five I stayed humble and just ran past him. I was ahead of him and only .2 miles away from the end of my 5 mile run. I was so excited that I pushed myself and that I beat him. Right before my 5 mile mark, guess what? HE PASSES ME! I couldn’t help but smile. Isn’t that just how life is? We then both went our separate ways without saying a word or even a wave.  Even though he ended up passing me at the end I didn’t get discouraged. Do you know why? Because I pushed myself because of him and he didn’t even know it. Today was hot and I hadn’t run in a few days. I was going to make this a slow easy run today. Little did I know I was going to have competition.  I pushed myself because of him and because I wanted to beat him. When I wanted to stop and walk, I kept running. When I wanted to slow down, I ran faster. Because of my competition I had a better run today. Competition is all about perspective. How you view it. I used the competition today to push me to run harder, faster. Who’s to say that I wasn’t his competition? He might have not wanted to run that far today, or that fast. Who’s to say that I wasn’t pushing him? Sometimes competition is not put in your life to push you but for the opposite, that you are there to push someone else.  One time after my run, I was stretching and a guy came up to me and said, “Whew, you’re fast!” I looked around to see if he was talking to me. I run about an 11 minute mile. That’s not too fast in my eyes. But he was talking to me. He said he’d been trying to keep up with me for a good 2 miles. He never caught up to me. He knew I was faster than him but he made it his goal to not lose me from him sight during the run. Wow I was humbled. This made my day.  He made me his competition that day. Competition is not always a person either.  I compete every time I run. I compete against the time, the weather, and myself. Sometimes I compete with pain, discomfort, and doubts. Competition is all about how you view it. Some say competing will cause you to be bitter. I believe competing will cause you to be better, a better person. One who motivates themselves, pushes themselves, finds the fun in the routine and mundane, and stays humble. Learn from the competition. How can it make you a better person? Keep pushing. Keep competing. Don’t give up. Dig Deep! 

Sarah Burns



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