Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is.”
I’d like to put my own little spin on that quote by saying, “I don’t have to finish first in everything, but I do have to finish ahead of my cousin Jen.”
Jen is the little sister I never had. We are both fiercely competitive. We both enjoy ruthlessly teasing one another.
Her mom is my dad’s sister. I’ve heard many stories about how my dad used to torment my aunt much like I do to her daughter. Jen is someone who I know not only shares part of my physical DNA, but also my mental outlook on life.
Another fun fact about my little cousin: She will be celebrating a milestone birthday in January. I celebrated that same birthday six years ago. I know the feeling she is experiencing as she attempts to accept the realization that she is no longer in her prime.
She also had her first baby (arguably the cutest baby I have every seen) over a year ago. She desperately wants to get back to her pre-baby body, or at least some derivative of it. Again, been there and experienced that.
When the subject of training for a half marathon came up this Christmas (yep, that’s what we talk about), we mutually decided the most effective way to motivate one another to get back into shape was to put a little friendly wager on whose time would be faster. Up to this point, Jen has been better than me at water skiing and golf, while I have out-shined her in everything else in life. I think I subconsciously got into blogging over three years ago precisely for this moment to call her out.
I need a fellow mom like Jen in my life. Someone who understands that “friendly competition” is more motivating than generic words of encouragement. Someone who shudders at the mere thought of wearing mom jeans even though we both know they’d fit us better than the pairs we continue to try to squeeze into.
We will picture one another on those days when we won’t want to run (a.k.a every day from now until race day) and the desire to improve our own personal times just to beat one another will fuel our determination.
We haven’t decided on what punishment the loser will suffer, but I’m thinking it might involve having to publicly admit we are inferior. That’s precisely the kind of motivation I need. Sad, but true!
Heidi Woodard is married with three children. Read her Thursdays on momaha.com
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