On my playlist this morning: Thriller by Michael Jackson
What I did: Ran (45 minutes) Weights (15 minutes)
Anyone who knows me, knows that I take after my mother in many ways.
She's outgoing, honest, and blunt. Once an English teacher, she insisted growing up that I should know about what was going on in our world (it's your fault that I'm a journalist, Mom!).
She also has a knack for explaining life in a unique way.
Today at the gym, as I was struggling to push my numbers on the treadmill to match the tall, lanky beanpole runner guy next to me, I could hear my mother's voice in my head.
"You're a stump," the voice said.
I was in middle school (pre-contacts and right in the midst of braces and bad hairdos) the first time my mother told me I was a stump.
I remember the conversation going something like this:
Me, in tears because I couldn't borrow a tall, thin friend's clothing: "I'm so fat and ugly and short (to this day I'm still only 5' 0")."
Mom: "Elizabeth, you are many things, but fat and ugly you are not. You are, however, a stump."
Me: (In shock and horror) "Mom!"
Mom: "What I mean is that in this world there are stumps and there are willows (as in Willow Trees). You are a stump. I'm a stump, too. You will never be a willow. And that is perfectly OK."
While I didn't quite understand what she was trying to say at the time, I came to realize years later (after the stump phrase had become a running joke in our household) that my mother was trying to tell me not to worry about being like everyone else. She was trying to tell me to be the best darn stump I could be. And to stop competing with everyone else.
So while I may not be the fastest runner, best biker, or person with the most attractive butterfly stroke, I am doing the best that I can.
I never did catch up to the guy on the treadmill next to me today. But I ran a personal best.
See. Stump. Run.
Do you often compare yourself to others?