She steps on and then she steps off and back on, she looks around and then she glances down at the number. It's a scene played out over and over again in locker rooms and bathrooms, women stepping on the scale. Too often, that number flashing back at them determines who they are. More times than not, I see her step off with a grimace, letting that number tell her she is not good enough. Someone has determined what number is good enough and for her today, that is not good enough. As athletes we are obsessed with numbers almost as much as an accountant.
We are a society that is constantly measuring. Power, miles, pace, time, weight, how many races and placing. You hear it in conversations all the time. You did what race, what was your time? Did you podium? What were your splits?
Some people say that you are only as good as your last race. Do you really let a race or a number or a placing define you? There is almost always going to be someone faster, stronger and better than you are at anything, anything except being you. No one can be as good at being you as you can.
Currently, I am in the countdown to running my first ultra race. I am running a 50 miler. According to the race website I am a zero. A big fat ZERO is next to my name. I am at the bottom of the entrants list, I practically do not exist in their world. I am choosing to think of this as a blank canvas. So many possibilities.
Instead of fixating on the tangible numbers let us be defined by the intangible. Don't focus on heart rate, instead focus on heart. How much heart you have is way more than a number!
Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running. -Julie Isphording, 1990 LA Marathon winner”