Ever get passed by someone that makes you feel terrible?
I try to never let it bother me. I'm usually out for long, slow distance and pacing myself to keep the same pace for a long way; plus I know I'm out of shape, so anyone in even decent shape should be passing me. But occasionally, I get passed by someone that just makes me feel awful.
Like the other day, I was working up this hill. It's the biggest one on my usual after-work 20 mile loop. Not a mountain by any means, but a big hill for me. And I was working up this thing, pushing myself pretty hard on this particular ride. And suddenly alongside me I see this little old lady. Well, little in height, but probably 300 pounds and looked to be 60 years old. Now I know I'm a big dude, but I'm at least young, I should be able to at least keep up. But this lady is just smiling away, cruising along up this hill and not even working, as the sweat is pouring off me and I'm sucking wind. She's got a rack on the back with a big trunk bag where I have no added weight, and yet she's leaving me in the dust and not even sweating.
So on the downhill on the other side, I determine to catch her and ask what's up, if there's some secret I'm missing; or at least offer some praise for her apparent fitness. I catch up to her at the bottom, look at the actual bike....
And the bike was electric.
And I suddenly didn't feel so bad anymore. So now, I remind myself anytime I get passed, there's never any reason to feel bad or embarrassed about it, there's always a good reason, like I'm riding farther or they're in the middle of an interval, or that I'm simply out there with a different goal in mind. Heck, for all I know, they could have an electric assist on their bike.