I have a chronic condition.
It is called "Never able to appreciate one's own accomplishments without comparing self to others and feeling inadequate and stupid". I mean see how long the name of the condition is? It's got to be bad with that long of a name.
I ran - well jogged, plodded, and walked might be better verbs here - 12 miles for the first time yesterday. I waved at several other runners and walkers. I smiled and nodded at 3 white bearded Sikh gentlemen. I marveled at Mt. Rainier. I fell, scratched up my hands and knee, got up and kept going. I tried not to cry after that. 5 minutes later I cried. I walked backward up some inclines. I watched the sun come then hide behind clouds then come again. I finished the 12 miles that were my goal for the day and was still not satisfied. Because even though my goal is to simply finish this 1/2 marathon, it drives me nuts when I look at my average speed and see how painfully slow I am. But what frustrates me most is not the slowness but my inability or unwillingness to accept that I'm not a natural runner nor am I training hard in enough to see times that would seem respectable to me. And "respectable" of course means what this or that other person can do and therefore what I "should" be able to do. My own goal becomes worthless.
There is a woman slower than I am. I have seen her often as I chug along. A beautiful ebony woman in colorful skirts. And she sings as she walks slowly along. She sings - hears angel songs - songs obscured by my own heart pounding in my head. She sings and smiles to herself and doesn't fear - or sings the fear away.
Oh how I wish I could embrace that goal. To know the joy of going her speed.