Not Comparing Yourself and Being Thankful

Boilermaker 2011
Can you guess which runner wasn’t in the Top 10 ? Samuel Ndereba, Nick Ferrara, Simon Ndirangu and Stephen Muange.

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else” -Galatians 6:4

How many of us will ever play in Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, or Wimbledon …while the place is packed with fans there to cheer their players? This is one aspect of running that makes the sport so unique. Many of you have lined up at races where the top American and international runners line up in front of you. Once you begin, everyone is running the same course, everyone hears the same fans cheering you on, and at the end everyone is trying to do their best!

While that makes running special for all of us, I have also been blessed to have some amazing encounters with a few of these elite athletes that I have shared with you on my about page. This past weekend was the Boilermaker 15k in Utica, NY and it reminded me of a couple of other experiences I had in 2010 and 2011, when I spent this same weekend driving for over 5 hours with top Kenyan runners to this race. While I primarily acted as their “driver”, my relationship and experience with these runners was much more than I could have imagined.

2010 Boilermaker with Irene Limika & Gideon Mutisya

Last year I went up with Samuel Ndereba (his sister is Catherine “The Great” Ndereba) and Simon Ndirangu, both of whom are amazing men. They not only gave me a few running tips but reinforced my experience with Christian runners as they talked about their strong faith.  As we ate meals with many other elite athletes from around the world, it was clear these men were humble, supportive, and encouraging to everyone including those who they would be running against.

Who is the Competition?

All of the elite runners I met there make running their livelihood and as a result they must be competitive. I asked them many questions from everything that included nutrition to the rivalry between the Kenyans and Ethiopians. One of the many things we discussed was the importance to not focus on the competition but to look within and prepare oneself for the race rather than worry about everyone else.  It reinforced that while the athletes all want to win, running is a sport where you must dig deep within oneself and endure more self-inflicted pain than most other athletes experience. At the end you must do your best and be grateful for the ability to compete at that level.

What we have and not what we want!

I think we all compare ourselves to others whether we are lining up at the starting line of a race, at work, and in many other areas of our lives. Like running in a race, life is challenging enough that we should not focus on what others have. Rather we need to be thankful for those gifts we have and not what we want. All of us are blessed in different ways and it is important for us to not lose sight of this and of our Lord who has blessed each one of us!

God Bless,

Nick

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About rxnickrun

I am a Christian, Father of 4 wonderful children, Husband and Passionate Runner. I hope to help others experience that running can be a powerful approach to strengthen their Faith and improve their fitness.
This entry was posted in Challenging, Doing our best, Galatians and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Not Comparing Yourself and Being Thankful

  1. Nick! I can’t believe it – I was literally just writing about these same verses, which I have been reading over the past few days. So much to chew on with this passage. I think it’s interesting that Paul ends v. 3 with, “You are not that important.” So maybe keeping our heads down and doing our best is God’s way of making us content?

    • rxnickrun says:

      I can’t agree more! It is one of my favorites and was on the Youtube clip that I have shared helped me link my running with my faith. They used the “Message” version which is great. It is easier said than done but all things are possible with Him!

  2. “…running is a sport where you must dig deep within oneself and endure more self-inflicted pain than most other athletes experience. At the end you must do your best and be grateful for the ability to compete…” This exemplifies the life of a Christian on so many levels. We all run this race daily, some focus on the other runners, losing sight of the goal and fall further and further behind. While others dig down deep, where God resides and pull strength from His presence to press forward, despite the struggle, despite the pain, despite the obstacles that are set up to slow them down. In the end, we have to be like the disciples and be grateful for being chosen and having the “ability to compete.”

    ” And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42

    I am not a runner naturally but I am a spiritual runner and I pray to never lose focus on that heavenly goal – to prize of the High Calling in Christ Jesus.

    This post is a blessing and thank you for writing it!

    God Bless You,
    Rebecca

    • rxnickrun says:

      Thank you Rebecca! I love the connection you have made with this post and calling yourself a “Spiritual Runner”. That is something we can all connect with!

  3. Lurleen Worthington says:

    Nick,
    I shared this one with my Grace as she prepares for her swim meet tonight. All too often it’s easy for her to get caught up in comparing herself to others, and I not only to speak for her, but for myself as well in my running. So many thanks, once again, for an uplifting message!

    • rxnickrun says:

      Lurleen, That means so much! You have been so wonderfully supportive of the group and this blog…I can’t thank you enough! Please tell Grace we wish her our the best and we can’t wait to see you all this weekend.

  4. jaynerich says:

    Excellent post, Nick! Timely, as well.

  5. Tracey says:

    Beautiful post!

  6. Great post, and love your blog! I will definitely be following you to get your thoughts on the Word, fitness, and running!

  7. Doug Weaver says:

    To celebrate the successes of others is a great thing.
    To celebrate the successes of others when they have surpassed your own success, that is where it gets tough.
    Thanks for another thought provoking post.

  8. Pingback: A Job Well Done « faithandfitnessat50

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