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Comparison is the killer of Joy

How many times a day do you find yourself saying "If I was..." or "I once could..." in regards to sports and life? You find yourself comparing yourself to not only the people around you, but the person you used to be. Both comparisons are mentally detrimental to performance and enjoyment of activities. The killer of joy and desolation of motivation. So how do you deal with this? It depends on the type of comparison you are making.

Comparing to others - it's really easy to do in this age of social media. Photos of adventures and travel flood the Instagram and Facebook accounts. Race results and epic rides litter the Strava feeds, with the real time comments. When all the photos and results published are curated to promote the most bad-ass image available, it's really easy to feel like nothing you do really matters and that your life is boring and drab. Remember, that everyone is posting the best of the best, with staged photos and the best runs made public on Strava. Even the photos you post make someone else jealous somewhere. So instead of looking at the photos as your friend's lives, consider it the highlight reel. It might be an awesome highlight reel, but all the friends you surround yourself with can make your highlights just as fun. And with each highlight reel, there comes the cost of travel and realities of being responsible. Some people are more willing to take chances then others - but that doesn't make one lifestyle better then another. Van life can be lonely and there is nothing like having a home base to travel from.

If comparing to your history is the bigger issue, it's important to remember that time passes. And as time passes, the person you were become further away from the person you are becoming. Goals change, moviation changes and life changes. All of those make comparing to achievements years ago a futile process. A runner turned mountain biker might never see the times once easily ran again. Instead of comparing who you were with who you are, look at the goals of then versus the goals of now. Chances are, those have changed significantly and as a result the training has changed as well. If the goal isn't to run a 3:00 marathon, but running is still a personal love, then just run. Maintain some speed work for the turn over, but don't worry about the overall times. It's not the current goal and therefore should not be compared to prior goals. It's important to acknowledge who you were, but without making comparisons to where you are today.

So this year, make those resolutions, but remember. The highlight reels don't show the real picture and the you of today isn't the you of yesterday. Let your highlight reel create the story of your adventures and don't try to return to the "glory days"