“The Most Beautiful Part.”

“Now I feel free, and hope is creeping back. Maybe because I’m paying attention to what I have rather than what’s missing.”

Doug Cooper
March 2023:
Climbing my way back up.
(LMNT Active Bootcamp, Cranberry Twp., Pa.)

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about comparisons, and how most people struggle with constantly comparing themselves to others. In this day and age, I guess it’s not hard to understand. With social media platforms so easily being used to display our personal highlight reels, it’d be easy to think that the grass is always greener in someone else’s yard.

Realizing this, I consider myself lucky that I have never had a tendency towards jealousy or outwardly comparing myself to others. My toxic trait has always been in comparing myself to where I want to be or, since becoming injured and struggling to recover from spinal fractures and surgery, where I used to be. Both, of which, are pointless. Neither serves the greater good of my physical or mental wellbeing.

The truth is, the grass is greenest where you water it. And, totally playing off song lyrics and memes here, but – I’m too busy watering my own grass to wonder if yours is any greener.

Perhaps this is the “secret” to my success? Or at least my steady progress.

Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about what everyone else is doing, I choose to go my own way. Sure, I post on social media frequently – but I don’t just post about the beautiful moments, the successful moments, the moments of joy and celebration. I openly display the struggle, the day to day work, and the most minuscule progress. Because I believe that THIS is the most beautiful part. Not the moments when we win – but the moments when we LEARN. We learn that it’s better to show up every day and try, to do whatever it is that we’re personally capable of doing today. We learn that not every day is going to be a good day. That it’s about progress, not perfection – and even the most “perfect” performances are achieved through steady, daily progress. All the times you got knocked down, but chose to stand back up – that’s how you make things happen… and THAT’s the most beautiful part. When you’re no longer interested in looking back to where you used to be and what you used to do. When you’re no longer fixated on the future, on where you’re going and what you hope to accomplish there. The most beautiful part, believe it or not, is not in the destination or the crossing of that Finish line – but rather, in these day to day moments of struggle, taking one small step closer to the goal, celebrating each and every milestone you cross, and seeing it as a tremendous gift and a testament to your character. And in those moments of day to day, all along the way, the most beautiful part is when your mind slowly makes the transition from uncertainty, not knowing if you can… to absolute clarity, and knowing that you will.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.