Sitting in my mid-year appraisal this morning, it became apparent to me that I approach my work in very much the same way as I approach my running. In my mind I am never good enough. I am always striving to improve. And no matter how family or colleagues rate me, I continuously believe I could’ve done better. I always feel as if I have let myself down.
My very first 10km was the Valentines Race in Randburg. (this is an amazing race, so much atmosphere and awesome vibe – gr8 for newbies). My time was a solid 87 minutes.
In my mind, the fact that I had finished was a victory in itself and we celebrated by getting Kentucky rounders on the way home (don’t judge okay). Three years later and my time has improved to 77 minutes. That equates to 1 whole minute off every kilometer. This is fantastic! Yet for me, still not good enough and lately, if I run a race that takes me longer than 80 minutes, I am depressed the whole day and feel highly irritated.
It’s the same with my half marathons. I was the type of person that couldn’t run longer than 35 seconds on a
dreadmill treadmill without stopping. I am now able to run 21.1kms. Non-stop. Most people cannot do this. Most people don’t even attempt the 35 seconds on the treadmill!
I have managed to bring my half marathon times down from 3hrs 17mins (Johnson Crane 2009) to 2 hrs 48mins (Two Oceans 2011).
I find that when I run, I tend to look more at my Garmin running watch on my wrist, watching the lap times, than I do on the road in front of me. Every kilometer is either too fast or too slow and I spend majority of the time stressing, doing the maths in my head as to what my final race time will be.
I run each race hoping to get a faster time and a better PB (personal best). And yet that’s not possible at every race. People tell me not to worry about those around me, or the times, but to run and enjoy the race. I am not there yet… I ignore them.
I tackle my work in very much the same way. I strive to know more, push myself to work harder. Always thinking in my head that what I am doing is not good enough. However, come appraisal time and I am generally rated quite well. My boss and colleagues are happy with (most) of what I do and I do get very positive feedback. Great team player, good people skills, knowledgeable…
So then what’s my problem? In striving to be this A performer (read: PB runner), I need to stop and consider the facts. I have the ability to run 21.1kms. I have done what most people cannot do. I have succeeded and got the medals (and the t-shirts). I have done what needs to be done and I’ve done it well. And even if I haven’t done well, and I’ve been disappointed, and fallen short of the mark, well.. that was yesterday, and this is today.
I need to be happy and look on towards the next race and the next challenge. But remembering to look back and sometimes pat myself on the back for what I have been able to accomplish. Victory lap around my desk!
Well done Bron!