There will always be someone better than we are: someone who is stronger, faster, cooler, leaner, sleeker, and more flexible. There will always also be someone who is worse than we are due to genetics, illness, injury, and lack of practice. Here is the thing. We are not those people. We are who we are and, ultimately, even in the middle of a huge class, we are working out alone because no one has our exact body.
This means we have incredible freedom. We just get to play and exercise and sweat and chill out. It doesn’t matter that the person next to us is squatting with a piano on her back (although it would be nifty to see, I’m sure) or struggling to bend her knees at all. It is not relevant. We are doing our work, chosen for our bodies on one particular day to the best of our ability.
We can tell our catty inner voices to stuff it when they remark that the guy over there has abs like an Abercrombie and Fitch model (you know, they don’t actually sell those naked men in the stores. False advertising!) and we feel like someone’s Before picture. We can also remind it to be nice when we remark to ourselves that at least we don’t look like that woman over there with the uncomfortably tight workout pants. Those people don’t matter to what we are doing. They are doing the best they can right now and deserve our respect for doing it. And we deserve to give ourselves the respect we deserve by not wasting our time in needless comparisons.
It’s about you and the work. That is all.