"Do you ever catch a breath", my friend asked as I hustled from my workout to a meeting.
For most of my life, I have lived a healthy active lifestyle, always wanting to be in the best shape possible.
While I consider myself a fit and active person, there is one thing I have noticed. My guy friends seem to work half as hard as I do at fitness, yet they are in way better shape. From lifting, rock climbing, and running I am overwhelming at my inability to catch up to them.
One guy showed up to the rock wall last week. He had never climbed before, and he was able to get halfway up a route I have been working for weeks on. Rock climbing typically comes much easier to males, simply based on their biological anatomy. Men typically carry most of their strength in their upper body, and women their lower body. Simply by being male, you can probably complete more routes than I can at first. A lot of males who are somewhat in shape can do a pull-up.
For females, it is not so simple. It takes a lot more dedication and practice. This is apparent in every situation where physical activity is involved with both males and females.
When I lift, run, or climb I feel outperformed by men. Lifting weights is a big part of my college experience, but no matter how much I try my male friends are so much stronger than me. I would look over to a guy deadlifting 300lb and suddenly become insecure about me deadlifting 165lb.
Feeling like I always am in the last place around my guy friends I became frustrated. I am not built like a male athlete or even an athlete in general. It has taken years of dedication to a healthy lifestyle to get here. Seeing some people immediately get what I have worked hard for is disheartening.
The saddest thing about my experience is that it doesn't stop with just me. The highest paid WBA player, Maya Moore, gets paid $110,000. While she is very skilled at the game of basketball she will never be ranked the highest because of her gender. If it gives you any clue the highest paid NBA player, Stephen Curry, gets paid $34 million dollars. This is a far jump from the highest WBA salary. Women can perfect their bodies, become professional athletes, win an Olympic gold medal, and they still won't be regarded as good as the boys.
While I could write on and on about how unfair it is to be a woman, I realized a couple of weeks ago where the root of my discouragement is buried. We become unhappy with our abilities and who we are when we compare it to others. When I can't do the same physical activities as well as other people I get annoyed and upset with myself, but it shouldn't be this way.
Being the best may be why we start something, but it is not why we finish. I started running cross country in high school to compete in meets to represent my school. Now I run several times a week and continue to do races. Why? For myself. I don't run to be the best, I run to be my best.
Being in shape helps me do the things in life I want to do. I want to still be doing yoga, playing tennis, and skiing at the hearty age of sixty. Regardless, of how I perform as long as I am working towards a healthy and happy life there shouldn't be any comparison.
Next time you look over to a guy benching 200lb with ease, don't get down on yourself. The female body is pretty cool too. We can grow a tiny human inside us, and that is a performance the male body could never compete with.