Something has been stuck in my craw and I need to get it out. Last week, I had the distinctive displeasure of hearing someone say that they dated someone who ran eight half marathons (said with disgust) and how they could have saved themselves a great deal of time and money had they known that because why run eight half marathons when you can run a marathon. This is someone, hereby known as Negative Norton, that I had respected right up until that point. What kind of asshat cuts down someone like that? Eight half marathons is a huge amount of effort, training, and dedication. Hell, ONE is a huge amount of effort, training and dedication.
Negative Norton then went onto say how people who walk marathons get the same medal as the person who ran the marathon; so, don’t be a walker. While I can comprehend the point they were trying to make (albeit badly) about effort; maybe the person who walked the marathon couldn’t walk a year ago. Oh, and by the way, Negative Norton, shows what you know, winners get fancy plaques and sometimes checks not just a finishers medal.
Then this week NavyMom posted; “Okay finished my long run…yes roll your eyes you 10 milers my long run is only 5 miles …” Immediately, a large group of us jumped in to cheer on her effort. This is someone who until recently has struggled to get one block due to her near crippling nerve pain and she just went 5 miles! This is an effort that should be celebrated not cut down.
When did it become ok to cut others efforts down? When did it become ok to cut our own efforts down? That person who “just” ran a 5k might have “just” finished chemo. That person who “just” ran a 10k may have mere months ago “just” weighed 100 pounds more. You never know what obstacles that person had to overcome in order to conquer that distance. There are visible challenges, but more often than not they are invisible ones; PTSD, diabetes, anxiety, asthma, etc.
While yes, there can be only one prize winner; every single person who crosses that finish line has overcome some challenge at work, at home, and/or within themselves. That is something that no one can ever take away from you unless you let them. Don’t be an asshat to anyone else either. Cheer on their efforts because you never know when it will be you struggling to crawl across the finish line.