It’s true. I know professors, principals, engineers (all sorts even), nutritionists, EMT’s, firefighters, coaches, actors & actresses, artists, lawyers, stay at home moms, teachers, bloggers, carpenters, musicians, students, police, and honestly the list goes on. And every once in a while I am blown away by the “human, mortal, just like me” that some of these people possess because I look to them as if they are more better, more special, more talented, more trained, more equipped, just more everything than I am.
Here’s the thing, and it’s something we all KNOW to be true, we just forget. We all started out the same way. We breathe the same way, wear clothes but with our own style, speak words with our own accents or key phrases (I overuse awesome and dude, and I’m just fine with that), eat foods that we enjoy with our own twist to the seasonings. We are all human. We all have fears, and goals, and dreams. And I bet everyone one of us wonders at times why anyone would think we are special, because we’re just us. It’s everyone else that is amazing (okay, how many of you read that with the mom’s voice in the Century Link commercials with Paul Giamatti?).
In the past week I’ve seen some amazing examples of “special people, being just like us”.
A girlfriend is battling hard against breast cancer. She has continued to run (a marathon and several half marathons!) since diagnosis and through chemo. She has faced this battle with more courage than I can comprehend, and every step of the way has shared her fears, triumphs, frustrations, joys. Right now though, she’s meeting with surgeons and she’s convinced she “can’t do this“. Huh? If anyone can ‘do the thing’ it’s her. I know she will overcome, because, well…she just will. But…she’s human, and has every right to be afraid and angry and the whole damn shebang.
Two other friends ran the Big Sur Marathon last weekend. It’s a bucket list race for so many people that you have to enter a lottery to get in. And, it has a 6 hr time limit. That’s tight on a fairly flat course, but it’s not flat, it’s got some brutal hills. And this year, it had winds like never before – up to 49mph headwinds. Sisyphus wouldn’t have even tried.
At the halfway point, one friend said enough. He accepted that his training wasn’t what it should have been for this race (and no one prepares to run in those kinds), and to try to keep going would have meant two certainties: injury and getting swept anyway (a bus picks you up and takes you back, the course is along the coast and the road has to be reopened to traffic). He’s kind of a big deal and was there with a bunch of people from Runner’s World Magazine. But, he’s human…and knew when to fold.
The other friend that ran Big Sur finished. She rocked it, and considering her training is in the fairly flat lands of Texas, that’s quite an accomplishment. She coaches young girls, she organizes trash clean up parties in her neighborhood, she basically encourages others on a daily basis. Yet, she had nothing but criticism for herself after running it. She could have, she should have, blah blah blah. Turns out, she is human, and deals with self-doubt just like the rest of us.
I have portrait quality resting bitch face. I have known people who have said that they were afraid to talk to me when we first met because I looked so mean. And yet, when I went to PT this week, Dr Zach told me I was the most positive patient he has and how I am always in a good mood. I do try to be positive. I work hard at that, because it doesn’t really come naturally, but it makes other people happy and that in turn makes me happy. I look the cashier at the grocery store in the eyes, with a big smile on my face, and tell them thanks and to have a great day because they deserve that kind of attention. I would never say to them, or you (although maybe the asshat that cut me off in traffic the other day), that they should have tried harder to skip the donuts, or that their hairstyle makes them look dumpy. So why do we say these things to ourselves?
Because we are human. Remind yourself today that you are awesome. Do the thing, don’t do the thing, do your thing. And be kind to yourself while you’re at it.