Lately, a few of my friends in my running club have made either envious or annoyed comments about my improvements with running, especially after having performed so well during my first full marathon (post on that to come). The predominant complaint is that they don’t understand why I am getting to be faster than them when they have been running for a year or two or five longer than me.
In some way’s it’s sort of flattery. And I’ll take that. I’m proud of what I have accomplished. But it’s also clear that there are some actual hurt feelings about the state of my abilities, and it’s not just idle chat or backhanded praise.
Since I get to write whatever I want on here, I’m going to write what was going through my head last night during my training brick:
“Why am I getting faster and you aren’t? Because your commitment to your goals exemplifies what everyone hates about millennials… You think your entitled to being faster. You think you’re entitled to the gains. You think it’s a matter of just showing up at least some of the time.
It’s not, and you aren’t entitled to shit.
You’re not getting faster because you’re either just not committed to the process, or you’re lazy. Either way, you need to accept that and quit bitching. It’s fine to be satisfied with what you have accomplished and where you are, but don’t be butthurt because you think it’s unfair that I’m making it further.
I’m faster because, right now, I’m on my bike doing hill repeats, in the pouring rain, and afterwards, I’m going to run, still in the rain. I’m faster because tomorrow I’m going to get up and run in the morning, again. I’m faster because I’m not making excuses. I’m faster because I don’t just train when I want to, I train as much as I NEED to to BE faster. I’m faster because I’m doing the things I don’t want to do. I’m faster because I put in the work.
I’m faster because when there are opportunities for cross training, I take them, and you don’t. I’m faster because when I’m able, I push myself harder, and you say ‘I don’t want to’. I’m faster because when I get home from a hard day at work, I don’t say ‘Today was a hard day, I’ll take it easy tonight,’ I’m saying “Today was a hard day, and it’s not over.” I’m faster because I don’t have 100 reasons why I don’t do the core workouts and the extra miles, and the extra intervals, and the extra work.
You want to know why I’m faster? I’m faster because right now, something is oozing out of my foot, my back hurts and I kinda feel like I’m going to puke, but I’m not stopping. I’m faster because while you’re laying in bed “soo tired”, I’m rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and lacing up my shoes and setting my playlist. I’m faster because when you go to the gym, you do the exercises you enjoy, rather than the ones that will help you get faster, because you don’t like those. I’m faster because while you were at a basketball game, I was pounding out miles. I’m faster because when you were waffling over paint colors for the 4th time in a room you won’t even use, I was crushing hills. I’m faster because when you were going on your 3rd different date of the week, I was out riding, pushing my limits, and then stretching, rolling, and preparing for my next workout. I’m faster because when you say “no one cares” about doing an easy yoga class on Sunday morning, I go. I’m faster because while you were having one more, and one more, and one more, till you were hugging the toilet, I went home and took some vitamins, drank a bunch of water, and got ready for tomorrow. I’m faster because when you turned around, I ran the extra miles. I’m faster because when you were too hung over, I sweated it out.
- I’m not faster because you “have so much going on in your life”. I’m faster because despite everything I have going on in my life, I put in the work.
- I’m not faster because you “just have a different body type than me”. I’m faster because despite being a short white dude with a repaired knee and history of other injuries, I put in the work.
- I’m not faster because ‘it was just so hot today’. I’m faster because even though I’m carrying 20 extra pounds of insulating fat and I sweat more than anyone I have ever met, I can manage and tolerate the heat because I put in the work.
- I’m not faster because you have kids and a spouse. I’m faster because although I have no help with cooking, cleaning, errands or other chores, I take my bike or run to the store, rather than drive. I do lunges from one room to the next while cleaning. I do 50 crunches in the 2 minutes before I shower. I put in the work.
- I’m not faster because you have to take your kids to soccer and help them with homework. I’m faster because after I’m done helping my 69 year old parents get where THEY need to go, cut down trees, repair termite damage and generally maintain their 120 year old house, I stop by the pool to make sure my muscles stay limber and put in 45 minutes of the work.
- No, I’m not faster because I don’t have responsibilities, I’m faster because I DON’T use my responsibilities as EXCUSES to NOT go put in the work.
- I’m not faster because your “job is so stressful”. I’m faster because despite being sued by 3 government entities, not really knowing how to do anything in my new roll, and being in charge of $6 million in projects which were 2 years behind schedule when I got them, I go before work and at lunch and after I finish at the office to put in the work.
- I’m not faster because “your knees just can’t take it”. I’m faster because when my knees couldn’t take it, I made them stronger by putting in the work.
- I’m not faster because you have a sprained ankle. I’m faster because when I sprained my ankle, I taped it up really well, wore a brace and kept doing work.
- I’m not faster because I’m a “natural runner”. I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.
You want to know why I’m faster? I’m faster because you don’t care enough to work to be faster. I’m not faster because I’m better. I’m faster because I didn’t JUST show up MOST of the time… I showed up on my OWN time. I’m faster because of ME.
You wanna be fast? Either put up, like me, or shut up. I don’t have time to be slow and I definitely don’t have time for excuses.”