The other day my mother wrote to me about a hike she did at the Tonto National Monument while on vacation in Arizona.  My mother is not the athlete I am. Until recently she’s lead the typical American life of eating out too much and not getting enough exercise, if any.  That was until a year or so ago when she made a conscious decision to eat healthier, lose weight, and now, exercise.  She’s lost 40 lbs!

In her email telling me about her hike, she asked “Does this constitute a credible physical activity?” (she was referring to a half mile hike with 350′ of elevation gain).

The hike was nothing out of the ordinary.  Or was it?  If I judge her hike by my standards, then it was an ant hill, but to her, it might be Mt. McKinley.  I believe it’s human nature to judge oneself against others.  We do it with our appearance, how much money we have, our cars, houses, bicycles and the list goes on and on.

What was my answer to my mother about her hike?  I told her it was credible.

The reason it was credible was simply because she did it.  No one can take away the fact that she actually did it and that’s the important part.  She could have sat in her rented condo in downtown Scottsdale or gone shopping, but she went for a hike instead.  I told her:

Tonto National Monument

“The answer is Yes, it’s credible.  Not because of its distance or elevation gain which are both minimal by some people’s standards.  It’s credible because YOU did it!  You could have sat around like most do on vacation and wonder why you’re overweight.  Instead you got out and got some exercise.  Asking me if it’s credible is tough.  If you compare it to what I might do then my answer is different.  As Ultra Bright always said, “it’s all relative”.

Remember; don’t judge yourself by what others do but by what you do.  If I judge myself by the guys I see in the pro races then I feel like a wimp.  If I want to feel good about myself I could compare myself to the weekend warrior who only rides his/her bike when it’s sunny and over 80.  The best thing to do is to compare myself to me and what I have or haven’t done.”

TV, magazines, the internet, movies all subject us to things, people, and lifestyles that we’re supposed to believe are better than our own.  How does one not fall into the trap of comparing themselves to this?  Advertising has become so good that it’s hard to see it sometimes.  The best thing one can do is stop every once in a while and ask themselves where they’re at mentally.  If you’re in their world, come back to yours and be you.  Good or bad, make it what YOU want it to be.

Remember you’re the best judge of you.



Get out there!

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