Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | August 13, 2010

Can-Do’s: Stop Comparing

Written by: ViR

I follow a lot of Fitbloggers on Twitter and read their blogs, and am almost a removed groupie, who loves watching their journey of health, fitness, and support of one another through all they do! I have wished to be in this group and it makes me feel like a middle schooler with a crush. Their community is pretty fantastic, and a lot like the pro-recovery one, where they share their journey in health, fitness, nutrition, and I find it really amazing to watch and read about since I too, as a recovery advocate, believe in moderation, balance, fitness, nutrition, and overall health in body, mind and spirit.

I don’t know if I have shared this before but my guy is a runner, he has been most of his life, and was on his Universities team as well. He runs daily, and if he misses running, boy can I tell!!! Running for him is sanity; it gives him an outlet for stress, and keeps his body and mind healthy. I have always WISHED I could run, not only so I could share a time with him I am not normally part of, but because it is such a fantastic exercise that requires no gym, special tools (other than shoes, etc), and you can just get up and go, versus the planning it takes me to make it to a pilates mat class.

When we first started dating, I tried running with him, he had us run two minutes and walk one, and go for 15-20 minutes. I did this for a week, but it was brutal. As a former dancer, and having both ankles with torn ligaments and tendons, and my natural hip turnout and knees, I feel like it was worse than a normal struggle. I think I could have gotten past the breathing and fitness level struggle, because as with anything else our bodies adapt with practice and training. I simply decided my body and its structure did not like, nor handle running well.

I love reading the fitbloggers who run, who sign up for marathons, and triathlons’, and support each-other in tweet chats, in replies, and blogs, that share their journeys. I had a moment this morning of “wishful” thinking that if I could run, I would be accepted into this group. WOW. My insecurity and wish to belong, made me wish to do something my body simply doesn’t do well. This morning I tweeted “I sometimes wish my body could run. But hey I can do the splits so that’s something right?” 🙂

That was a turning point in self awareness. I honestly needed to switch perspectives and be grateful for what I CAN do versus what I WISH I could do. Everyone’s body is different, and each one of us has different strengths in what it can do, and I need to stop the wishful thinking, and focus on what I can do. So I decided to write a list of what I can do so when I find myself struggling.

–          I can & do walk miles a day to and from work

–          I can & do go to pilates at least three times a week

–         I can do a roll up with strength in my legs so that I do not have to re-adjust my head back onto the mat when I am done

–          I can do a full push-up challenge in plank

–          I can do a teaser that is getting better in time

–          I can roll like a ball in various positions and laugh at myself whenever I get stuck

–          I can do a backbend

–          I can go through my vinyasa with ease now! I LOVE the feeling!

–          I can do the splits after stretching a few minutes

–          I can do a cartwheel

–          I can do a flip in the pool off the wall

–          I can hula hoop

–          I can skip & jump (preferably on my bed)

Have you ever found yourself comparing to others and the fitness they do? Do you think “the grass is always greener”? How about taking a few minutes when these thoughts come up and writing out what you CAN do! Maybe you will find you can do more than you thought you could!

What I have discovered is that my personal growth in fitness will build upon my can-do’s. I WILL be open to trying new things, and seeing if I enjoy it. I don’t enjoy running, but I do LOVE pilates and yoga mix classes, so why not focus on what I love, what I can do, and work on pushing myself within the kind of fitness my individual body enjoys? I am constantly working towards listening and respecting my body, and this is one more way in doing that, while promoting health in body, mind and spirit.

What CAN you do???

~ Be yourself everyone else is taken ~ Oscar Wilde


  1. i dont know how you do it, but you posts always come at the perfect time for me.

    running and i are in a battle. i have NEVER been a runner and was convinced it was just not something my body could do. a few months ago (being a stubborn scorpio) i decided to give myself a major challenge and try to “become” a runner. i’ve been working at it diligently and have been making steady progress.

    last night, i had a crappy run. for the first time i had to quit 1/2 way through and walk the rest of the way home. i came home feeling like a failure…like my body had defeated me.

    a few hours and a lot of self-talk later i started feeling better…running DOES NOT come easily to me, and that’s ok. i am (literally) miles ahead of where i was 3 months ago, and that in itself if amazing. even if i am never able to run a 10k or a 1/2 marathon i have not failed…i have grown and learned.

    ok, wow that was a rant…sorry! but this post really just gave me something i needed. thank you.

  2. Steff I adore you and your responses!!! I absolutely hear you! I think we forget to accept how far we HAVE come in what we are trying to do. I know I come home after pilates all upset I couldn’t do this one move PERFECT, and have to fight that inner dialogue and tell myself, I have come so far in a few months! You can rant anytime. Thank you as always for leaving a wonderful comment. I think many can relate to your experience when trying something new, and it often feels like a battle. I hope your journey gets smoother in time!

  3. Beautiful post! Listening to my body has always been hard for me. Sometimes I tell myself I’m listening to it because I feel the pain but I don’t really do anything about it. So I listen, just don’t act upon what I’m feeling. I grew up pushing through any pain no matter how hard it was on my body or how many injuries I had. Through dance, softball, basketball, running, gymnastics, golf…the list goes on and on. I’d run with tendinitis, push through pain of a healing broken leg, dance on a sprained ankle…it didn’t matter I would do it. I hope to some day be able to listen and truly act on what my body is telling me. Doing what I love, and not pushing to extremes.

  4. Look at all the things you’re awesome at! I’m horrific at yoga and would probably never be able to walk again if i attempted the splits!

    I am personally a runner, but I think it’s great that we can all find a niche in fitness that we can be good at- I wish I were better at yoga/pilates and had at least a little more patience to attempt them more often! 🙂

  5. I can very much relate to your struggle on both a more general and specific level. As I become more involved in the blogging community, I find myself frequently comparing myself to others. For me, even though I run, I find myself getting down on myself for not having the amazing speed that a lot of the bloggers do, or the endurance, or the knowledge. Or the ability to bike and swim and thus be able to do a tri. The point is, there will always be something that I can’t do. But then again, there will always be something I CAN do as well. On a bigger picture level, it’s so easy to get trapped into the comparison game… I love how you reminded yourself of what you can do. Now I’m jealous of YOU because I can’t do a cartwheel! =)

  6. Great post! I go through spurts where I want to be a long distance runner, but my body tells me that’s not a great idea. I am learning to accept that I am a slow 5k kind of girl.

    I have often wished I was I was a dancer, but I think I should accept that I am strong but not graceful!

    I also think sometimes I don’t try things because I am sure I will fail.

  7. What a great post! YOU can hula hoop!
    That’s so cool. I have always wanted to learn to do that. I CAN… Do 10 pull ups, do the splits, Dead lift 235lb, and make the best Carmel Latte 🙂
    we really seem to spend lots of time in our heads compairing our selves to others and IF that INSPIRES us that great! If it does not, what a bummer.
    I really enjoy your tweets and blog you write with great authenitcity (sp?)– thank you

  8. I always feel like everyone is so much better than me at everything. I do way too much comparing, and it wears me down. I’m really working hard at not doing this. This was a wonderful post for me to read right now, as I’m going through some transitions in my life, and feeling riddled with self doubt and a lack of confidence.

  9. From following your tweets, I think you would really enjoy “ChiRunning”. It puts the focus on running as practice like pilates. It also focuses on form and energy to prevent injury and make running a joyful experience.

  10. Kendra, this post is fantastic! I can relate 150 percent! Thank you for always being so honest about your own struggles.

    I compare myself to others all the time. I wonder if my blog is good enough, if my fitness level is good enough, why I’m not as productive as so and so, and why I can’t do such and such workout, too.

    BTW, that’s awesome that you can do the teaser! So tough! And doing a split is super hard. You have a ton to thank your body for. 🙂

  11. […] favorite post. “Can-Do’s: Stop Comparing” at Voice In […]

  12. i just wrote about this today!

    i wish i could hug every girl who’s felt guilty for not doing “more.” self-love starts with peace with what we’re given!!!

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