When did average stop being a good thing?

Society seems to have somehow twisted the concept of average into a negative personification.  We expect and demand that individuals all be above average or EXCEPTIONAL.  Really?!?!?  So we are all going to be rocket scientists, professional athletes, and Mensa members. I don’t think so!  I’d like to end this war on average.  Let’s face it most of us are average and do just fine with the cards we have been dealt.

Listen, I’m average!  I am 5 feet 3 inches, weigh 122 pounds, I got a 26 on my ACT, I had 3.00 (ish) GPA in college, and run a 4:40 marathon.   Why do we feel that everyone must come with over the top abilities for them to survive in today’s world or be important.  I’ve been given average ability and  I’m overjoyed with how my life turned out. To say that it has been a smooth process is laughable.  I’ve struggled at times, but fought my way back…even with average abilities.

I hate to break it to most of the general population – you are average too.  If you stop a person on the street chances are they will have an IQ score of 100 which is the average in the US. Great fact, but SO WHAT!?!?!  We have begun to overlook what created the country/world we live in…grit. Yep, I said it.  The dirty little word that I feel most people are afraid to say or acknowledge.  Grit – defined as “courage and resolve; strength of character“. When did we become a group of people who were afraid of working hard?

I have not been given exceptional talent, I will never qualify for the Olympics or look like those that do, but does that mean I should hang up my running shoes and stop trying to be better than I was yesterday. I’m average and I work my ass off daily to build on my average status…its not a bad thing. We all cannot have exceptional talent – that would turn the exceptional ability into the norm, hence making it the new average.  I work for what I want and earn the feeling in the end from the effort I put forth, to me the journey is just as important on the way to achieve a goal as the moment is when you finally get there.  When I accepted this fact (my averageness) I was able to let go of a ton of baggage that was weighing me down.  In the past I starved myself trying to be like the exceptional images I saw around me and I believed I could achieve the look that they possessed.  Even at my lowest weight I did not “look” like my running idols.  They were different and I needed to accept my average body was not going to transform into a sleek athletic form.  I’ve learned to celebrate the curves that I have and acknowledge that I am not built to sport a race kit (sports bra top & spandex briefs).  I’m average and with the help of some awesomely designed shorts from Oiselle (thank you Sally) I rock and accept what I have.

Strength of character is the backbone of greatness in my opinion.  For those that have exceptional talents “congrats” I truly am happy for you, but know that what you have still requires you to dig deep and not stagnate, otherwise us average, gritty, people will pass you by…it just may take us a little longer to do so.  Resolve and courage to keep trying when success is not predictable says a lot about an individual in my book.  When push comes to shove I’d select the average person who is willing to work hard over the person who is a shining star but has no idea what it means to be persistent.

Average is ok – if you are prepared to roll up your sleeves and do something with all your wonderful average abilities.  I hope in the future we go back to focusing and cultivating the concept of grit.  We need people who are willing to go the extra mile and persevere through hardships.  Life is a marathon not a sprint…grit will get you to the finish line when the pain sets in and the miles add up.

#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive



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