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Sep 2, 2021

Let’s Talk About Coming in Last

There’s a saying that goes like this: “Don’t compare yourself to other people.”  How often do we do that, though?  Comparison can lead you to greater heights. It can serve as the motivation you need to push a little harder and achieve a little more than you ever would on our own.

But, far too often, comparison has the exact opposite effect.  When you see others succeed in ways that don’t come easily to you, it can be tempting to throw in the towel altogether.

Does this happen to you?

Listen … coming in last is a thing with some of us.  We may come in last in races, we may have always come in last in contests, we may come in last during an interview for a new job.  Coming in last can be looked down upon and for some, coming in last may feel like you have failed.

Let me just emphasize it doesn’t matter if you come in last.  It doesn’t matter if you come in last because that scale doesn’t know you came in last, yet, the pounds are coming off.  It doesn’t matter if you came in last because those clothes that are getting too big, the clothes don’t know that you came in last, but they’re falling off … they don’t fit anymore.

It doesn’t matter if you come in last because your numbers at the doctor are improving, and you’re coming down on the BMI scale, but yet you’re still coming in last during those races, you’re still coming in last during your group workouts at the gym.

Working out, being physical, conquering any workout routine is a personal journey not to be compared with anyone else’s.  Come in last all you want to.  There have been multiple times I have come in last, and as a matter of fact, normally when I’m out on the pavement walking or running, I still come in last.  I just celebrated by fifth year anniversary with Black Girls Run! in June 2021, and I am still coming in last.

I have also come down three dress sizes, no longer wear a 3X shirt, but comfortably fit an XL size.  I still come in last, but I went down three points on the BMI scale within one year, my doctor shared with me that it takes most people one year to go down one point, I went down three, yet, I come in last time after time after time on the pavement.

If you are still peeking in on others’ workouts, if you’re still scrolling the Facebook pages of the meet-ups and not getting out there and not moving, I’m here to tell you that coming in last has bountiful benefits.  The bountiful benefits of weight loss, increased energy, increased desire to workout, increased joy and decrease of stress.

Are you familiar with the scripture Matthew 20:16?  It states: “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”  My interpretation of that is although you come in last on the pavement, you’ll come in first with your health.  Although you come in last in those planks, you’ll come in first with your doctor’s report.  Although you come in last doing those burpees, you’ll come in first wearing a smaller size clothing.

It doesn’t matter if you come in last.  Just coming in at all means you’re out there taking care of yourself.

What is Black Girls’ Run! goal?  To encourage and motivate black women to practice a healthy lifestyle.  It doesn’t state to come in first.  So come join me and come in last.  I’ll show you what coming in last does for you.

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.