How many times did we hear those words growing up?
My sisters and I competed with each other for everything!
I remember frequently racing to the car to get the front seat and to the dinner table to get the seat by mom!
Obviously we picked up early that being first is best and last is worst. This was only reinforced as we got older and the results had emotional results. Getting picked last for a team at school didn’t just mean you didn’t get the benefits of being first, but it was a slam to the ego and made me feel like crap for a while.
Many times I doubt my abilities and worry that I’ll finish last when I enter a race. Sometimes it even keeps me from entering at all. But Tuesday during Girls on Track, I learned an important lesson from a girl.
We were walking our cool down laps and chatting. She told me that last year she ran a 5k and finished last. My mind raced as I thought of the appropriate way to console her without crushing her spirit. I said something along the lines of “At least you were out there running, a lot of people don’t even try!” She responded with “It was fun being last because everyone was cheering when I finished!!”
What?? Had I heard correctly? It was FUN being last? Did this girl have a fever? Was she sick? I didn’t get it!
But the more I think about it, the more it dawned on me: Being last isn’t something to fear! As the 5/3 Riverbank Run draws near and my training has been spotty at best, I begin to think about dropping out. Why? I know I can finish the 15.5 miles of the course, so that isn’t it. It is because I don’t want to be last. Or even close to last. My pride was going to keep me from giving my best! Even if my best is running a little and walking a lot, there is no shame in that!
And if I am last? Brent will be there to cheer me on. I might be sweaty and tired, but I won’t be a rotten egg!