I recently signed up to run a 10K race; that’s 6.2 miles. I have enjoyed running for most of my life. I find it to be fun, challenging and therapeutic. As much as I like to run, I’m not a fast runner; and that’s the problem. It’s a race. Slow runners never come in first.

One might wonder why I would ever run at these events if I never come in first place. The reason I run is because I enjoy the experience. I know who I am as a runner and I work to be the best runner that I can be. I realize that I am racing myself. Years ago while running a half marathon, a much older gentleman passed me. I was sure I would catch him and pass him but I never did. He taught me to run in my own lane and to resist comparing myself to others.

Back to that 10K race. On that Saturday, I ignored the lessons I had learned. At the start line, I looked around and decided I was going to run with these young athletic guys. I started fast and at mile 2, I felt the pain shoot through the back of my leg. I said to myself, “This is not you.” I didn’t run in my lane and I injured myself. I was able to finish but weeks later, I can still feel the pain in my leg.

Life is a lot like running. We all have a life that is uniquely ours. No one has the exact set of skills, abilities, weaknesses and experiences. It is important for us to recognize who we are as individuals and for us to accept some things about our lives. If we continually compare our lives with others, we will never really be able to develop into the best version of ourselves.

RHN also has a life and a purpose that is unique. We have a lane to run in and that lane is significant. In the grand scheme of things, it may seem that our part is incredibly small. However, the impact that we have on our communities is substantial. If RHN was not present in our communities, they would suffer. Families would lack health care, employees would lack employment, hospitals and other medical providers would be forced to absorb our patient population and local economies would experience loss. It’s easy to look over and see what other companies are doing and compare ourselves to them. There is a difference in learning from others and wanting to be like others.

When we aren’t true to ourselves, at best we create a copy of another thing. At worst, we hurt ourselves. At RHN, our challenge is to understand who we are and work to become the best at what we do. It’s a marathon and we are racing ourselves.