Now that I’m in my 40s, I am looking to maintain my health. But in my earlier, less wise years, I pushed to be the best. To be the strongest. To be the biggest. The more pain I felt only proved to myself that I wasn’t an average gym junkie.
Back to present-day, my new indoor bike connects to live or on-demand classes. It contains many features, one of which allows you to see your placement amongst the other participants. I used to think I was an exceptional rider, after all, I was an instructor at a local community centre. But my indoor bike app calculates my efforts to sit right in the middle of my peers. Each class I push harder. I’m breathless and drenched, yet I still rank in the middle.
I once competed in the Tour of Terra Cotta’s beginner race, albeit I came in last, but I was so proud to have finished. So why is being average not enough for me, on a bike app?
What does average mean to me? It means, I’m not fast or strong enough to reach the top ten. But who tells me I have to be number one? I don’t have anyone tsk-tsking and pressuring me.
I believe we judge ourselves. With access to social media, we see “our friends” with bigger houses, faster cars, designer clothes, and even wonderful careers and relationships. Their lifestyles look so glamorous.
Or perhaps we’re judging against our younger selves, what we used to look like before our facial lines settled; what we hoped to achieve; never realizing our ‘what ifs’.
And so, as I try to catch my breath while cycling in my virtual class, I decide to turn off the ranking feature of the app. With whom am I competing, in life and in cycling, anyway? Our choices have brought us to our present-day selves. Maybe you should be asking, “Am I happy?” If you’re not, then make changes in your life rather than accepting it and being complacent. One small step is till farther than no steps at all, or in my case, pedal.