I'm a runner. Been running since I was in high school. Ran a marathon at 16. Ran a mile in under 5 minutes. That one's not especially remarkable as most high school track milers can do that. It just sounds good to me now! I used to run 7 miles every day, in the summer, around noon. Incidentally, my favorite part of the day came a few minutes after the run. The rest? No. The water? Yes!
And yet was I in good shape? Depends. In good shape for what?
During the summer before my college senior year, I took on an internship as a sales person for a staffing company. It was more of a favor to my mom, who knew the owner. So selling was important, but I also was the backup for any key "temp" workers who selected to no show on any given day.
Well, this was the day. Nearly 100 degrees, major humidity, and the guy who did not show up was intended to be a landscape helper. So I became that guy. No worries, though. Landscaping - cutting grass, trimming shrubs, edging, whatever. It would be no match for me.
And as I showed up on the property, meeting my supervisor, it was even more evident this would be no big deal. This guy was clearly out of shape, or at least he sure looked like it. I figured if this guy can do manual labor in this heat, I'll through breeze it. Way wrong.
When I arrived home at the end of the day, I pushed myself upstairs, fell on my bed and passed out. I don't remember if I napped for hours or just called it a night completely. Boy, was I whipped. So much for correct assumptions.
That guy probably went home and worked a second job or grabbed a few beers with his buddies. But not me, Mr. 7 mile a day, noon-time-in-the-summer, super runner. Checkmate.
Oh, I was in shape, but definitely not the right kind of shape for the kind of work I had to do. It got better, as I was asked to be there several more times.
Bottom line. Things aren't always what they seem. The one who looks like he can, maybe he can't. The one who looks like he can't, maybe he can. Be open-minded, less judgmental. Or better yet – don’t judge at all. Be more accepting.
And definitely be humble.