Monday, March 16, 2015

The only person you have to be better than is the OLD you!

I saw a blurb on the CBS Morning News about a woman named Melissa Cooling, a Marine Corps lieutenant, who is attempting to join their elite combat brigade.  Part of the test is doing pullups with a 30-lb. backpack in place and performing physical feats over a 16-mile course.

In other words, more than just a little stroll along a wooded path.

Make no mistake, Lt. Cooling is in much better physical condition than most everyone else, male or female.  But she is fighting against the old stereotypes, such as "women can't do pullups because it requires too much upper-body strength."

(People used to say that members of a certain race couldn't swim because they lacked buoyancy, as if they were aliens from another planet and didn't breathe through gills or something as others do.)

If you live long enough, you will see that people can amaze you with what they can do, especially after they are told that they can't do something.  How many times have you seen people overcome challenges?  It happens all the time.

But Lt. Cooling made a good point, one that's worth remembering. She pointed out that she did not want to be judged by the accomplishments of others; she only wants to be judged on her own standards.

If you set out to learn a new sport, try running instead of walking, take piano lessons, or undertake making a wooden cabinet, you can't compare yourself to professional athletes or Jerry Lee Lewis or the cabinetmakers on some show on PBS Saturday afternoon. Be fair to yourself!

Are you doing better after the first few weeks in your new sport? Are you running further every time, playing something more complicated than "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", getting those mitred joints in place for the drawers?

Keith in 1965
Then you're doing great! Be proud, and keep going. Remember, the first time Keith Richards picked up a guitar, he didn't play as well as he does today.

No comments: