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The Reward is in the Work not the Image

Sometimes what you see isn't always what you get.

I have trained for years to be a runner. I have perfected certain aspects, researched the best shoes, clothing, socks, nutrition and hydration packs , beat previous PR (personal records) and even came in 1st in my age division.

BUT, I've also scraped my knees, hands and face, literally picked myself up off the pavement, wore the wrong shoes, socks or clothing, forgot my trail snacks and downloaded my favorite race tunes.

Sometimes we don't always know the work or pain that goes into the progress.

Be kind to people on their journeys and as they navigate their goals this year!

Having it all together on the outside with freshly painted toenails.

Putting in the work with the wrong socks.

We are often quick to judge what we see on the outside. We assume that it came easy, natural or without much effort or thought. We might even envy such situations and feel like it should be our life.

For years I have wondered how some people appear to have it all together and others seem like they are falling apart. While others might think that those that appear to have it all together are faking it, could it simply be because they have figured out the work and effort that goes into their lifestyle and make it work? Could it be that they have managed their time and tasks in a way that they can handle it?

On the flip side, do those that appear like they’re falling apart say yes to too much, try to keep up with others or expect more out of themselves than they are capable of?

You see, my point is, we can NEVER judge a book by its cover. With these vulnerable pictures of my gross feet at the time, you can see that training days don’t always go as planned. While I have set out and will finish running a half marathon, the cost of doing so can be great at times. Putting someone on a pedestal of greatness is kind, but often unnecessary. They have done the work, pushed through the hard work and the reward is often felt in completing the task at hand. While we could all use an “attaboy”, most of us build that inner strength to do the behind the scenes work.

So next time you think to judge others based on what you see, really ponder on the effort it took to get there. It’s not our place to label, degrade or snark on those who are ‘doing them’ because it looks different than ‘doing you’. We are all on a journey to experience joy and that comes from staying in our own lane and doing what works for us. Truly listen to your gut feelings and inner thoughts to guide your choices. There will be times that you have it all together. There will be times when you’re falling apart. The key is to Honor the Struggle.

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