By the law of averages, most of us are typically, profoundly average!! But most of us tend to pretend otherwise and it’s an exhausting facade. Most of us will never be more than average. Can we be content with that? We are all born with different aptitudes and potentials. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Even if someone excels in one area the chances are they’re pretty average or below average at most other things. That’s just the nature of life. To become truly great at something, you have to dedicate time and energy to it. And because we all have limited time and energy, few of us ever become truly exceptional at more than one thing, if anything at all. Our culture, driven by social media, now values high achievement and expects it in every area of our lives. We need brilliant careers, accomplished children, perfect bodies, and financial affluence. It is almost reprehensible to be satisfied with “just enough”. “Mediocre” is a dirty word and one we are intolerant of, particularly in this social media generation who tend to treat our Facebook, twitter and snapchat feeds as a shop window for our achievement-rich lives.
There is an expectation in running, as in life, that we should consistently progress and develop ourselves. But in reality, like in life, most of us get stuck in mediocrity because people’s performance follows the “Bell Curve”. The Bell Curve represents what statisticians call a “normal distribution” there will be a small number of very high performers and an equivalent number of very low performers” with the bulk of people clustered near the average.
We have the right runners, we master the GPS watch, we commit to the training processes, we gather and analyze the endless data drivel, and yet we reach a point we at which we plateau and don’t improve. I haven’t run a personal record at any distance in 2 years – no triumph in two years! As disheartening as this may sound I’m not discouraged because I don’t regard achievement as the yardstick against which I measure success. Achievement is not a bad thing, it’s just not necessary in every moment or facet of our lives. So even though I may never strive to be average, for the moment it appears I am content to hover in between mediocrity and success, and it’s a comfortable place to be because being better doesn’t always matter.