The tortoise not the hare
I am genuinely supportive of other people achieving their goals. In fact I will be as happy for you achieving your goals as if I achieved them myself.
I am however, one of the most secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) competitive people you’ll ever meet. I won every academic award at High School and chose my profession, not because it was what I had always wanted to do, but because it simply had the highest university entry score – it was something to strive for.
Last year of law school and I was running on the treadmill at the gym with a fellow student who had already gotten a job – a student who I knew had better grades than me (which of course killed me). She didn’t know we were racing. I kept pushing up the speed on the treadmill with every turn in the conversation. She told me she had just gotten a job. When I found out where – I applied for a job too. Just to see whether I was a competitive candidate. I was.
When I started playing drums, I wanted to be the best. First I wanted to be the best female metal drummer, but there weren’t many women playing metal drums then. So I tried to take on the boys. I gaffa tapped rubber to the walls of my bedroom so I could practice my double kick all night while normal people were sleeping.
One day, I made all the drummers in the rehearsal studio run a race around the block. I have no idea why – and I can’t believe they agreed to do it. I was so pissed when a long legged dope smoking dude beat me.
So now that recovery and rehab is my game, being the best is my priority. I want to win at this. The problem with an injury as severe as this and as slow healing as this is that it’s hard to know if your progress is good or bad. Each week I make small progress, but is that enough to be the best at this game?
Last night I saw my physio for my weekly visit and I asked him frankly. Turns out, I am not the best at recovery. I am not winning this game. Initially he predicted 6-8 weeks recovery time. I’m now looking at 10-12.
Patagonia is no longer a certainty. If I can start the race, I won’t be starting as a runner. I have run out of time to be a runner. My best case scenario is that I walk and shuffle. I won’t know for sure until 4 weeks whether I will be well enough to do that.
I have been creatively visualising this race for over six months now. I envisaged myself running strong and coming into camp early. Maybe even taking an age category award. This has to change now – my best case scenario is that I will be walking which means I will be coming into camp late each day – I may be the last person to arrive. Not such a competitive outcome for a competitive person and I think I’m okay with that.
If the choice is walking, struggling, coming last, but finishing a one off opportunity to cross 250km across Patagonia – well that sounds a whole lot better than sitting in a hotel room feeling sorry for myself.
Photo of me “competing” in the 4 deserts 250km race across the Atacama Desert