There is an on going friendly (very supportive) competition between myself and a good friend (a personal trainer) at one of my gyms. I discovered that he could hold the plank position for 3 1/2 minutes. So naturally I set a goal to do 4 minutes. After achieving this we have both decided to go for five minutes. And setting a pace for ten minutes. Now here is where the story turns--I then discovered that my kickboxing instructor could hold his plank for over ten minutes. Of course I immediately reported this information to my friend while a mutual acquaintance was standing there.
Now my friend (the trainer) was very impressed while the acquaintance quickly interjected that my kickboxing instructor was lying. When I gave him a look of surprise- he than concluded that it was because my instructor was smaller in size. To which both my friend and I replied was totally irrelevant.
What I found most interesting was at no point did my friend (the trainer) nor I find ourselves jealous, threaten or in need to make an excuse for the kickboxing instructor to be better than us. In fact we both saw it as an opportunity to challenge ourselves. While the acquaintance responded in a way that is unfortunately shared by a good deal of the population. Rather than be inspired and decide to set a new goal for oneself, most people will look at a healthy slim person and come up with fifty different reasons why they are not able to do things. No one is saying you have to hold the plank position for 5 minutes. This isn't a story about trying to "out do" someone. Nor is it about comparisons and competition. It really is about setting small goals for ourselves. And as we achieve these goals finding people that inspire us to continue to be even better. Instead of feeling envious - find ways and recognize people who inspire you to be and try your best.