The Girl in the Park

The girl in the park is larger than most.

The girl in the park is followed by stares.

We’re ‘always on’. Connected 24-7 and just a few finger gestures away from sensory overload. How easy it’s become to immerse ourselves in the lives of others. Exposed to highlight upon highlight of their daily adventures, our existence can feel drab in comparison.

It’s true, comparisons can be harmful.

Wise words have been written, extolling the virtues of ignoring the herd and focusing on your own wonderful life. Appreciate where you are at and keep a firm hold of your reality. Time is too precious to devote efforts elsewhere.

the girl in the park runs… and runs… and runs.

Sometimes though, exposure to the highlight reel is exactly what’s needed. Why shouldn’t we cut out the crap, escape from the grind and embrace the positivity of others? We’re switched on, intelligent folk and aren’t ignorant to the realities left on the cutting-room floor of our social feeds.

The world we create in our minds can become a very small place if we don’t allow ourselves to look through the lens of another once in a while. Left to our own compass and impulses, distraction can trump focus and we may never journey far enough down the path. Where could it lead? What are we capable of?

Feet working the concrete as if enslaved by some metronomic rhythm.

The successes of others hold a torch in the distance to illuminate previously unseen paths. Setting off in these brave new directions can be life changing. Let the curious mind wander these new paths whilst eliminating distraction and remaining mindful of when the course no longer reflects your own motivations.

Take what is needed from the comparison and then steer the ship elsewhere.

The girl in the park is a machine.

My running experience boils down to the past 7 weeks, following the Couch to 5K training programme. Physical health benefits are inevitable. It’s the development of mental endurance that captivates me though; a trait that, once cultivated, can bring great rewards alongside improvements in discipline, concentration, pain management, and the ability to perform under pressure.

The girl in the park haunts me.

The pain of running can be ever-present for the novice mind. There are runs when thoughts of quitting weigh as heavy as the weary legs beneath them. It would be easy to stop; no-one will know, comment or judge. It’s at these moments the girl in the park races into my head to drag me to my humble finish line.

Reminded that my mind will give up before my body is motivation enough to commandeer a few more steps.

The girl in the park can do this. I can do this.

It boils down to those that think about doing and those that do.

The girl in the park does it.

Lap after lap, day after day.

Compare yourself to the Doers. Let them make you feel inadequate. Embrace the uncomfortable feeling that you could be doing better. It will spur you on to greater things.

Recently asked who comes to mind when I think of the word success, the girl in the park was at the forefront of my mind. We’re often quick to celebrate the actions of those in the public eye, ignoring the daily feats of people closer by. The girl in the park hits the park at the same time every other day, getting faster, fitter and closer to where she wants to be, one small step at a time.

I don’t know her and can only guess her motivation. I do know this though:

The girl in the park will achieve her goal.

By comparing myself to her, I also know that I’ll achieve my goals, and beyond. The marker’s been set and it’s somewhere in the distance.

I really should thank her for motivating me but perhaps that would just serve to embarrass us both?

Yet, how many struggle in silence while others admire from a distance? There are personal triumphs everywhere we look if tuned into the right frequency. Let’s show gratitude to the people that inspire and motivate us. In turn, maybe they’ll be inspired to further heights and new horizons. A wonderful cycle that keeps on giving.

The girl in the park is inspiration.