We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Every good fitness trainer will urge you not to compare your fitness with others. That is fine in theory, but it goes against human nature.
There is an unspoken rule in gyms that you do not look at other people or at what they are doing. A rule more honored in the breach than in its observance, maybe. Indeed, we glance at what the big boys are doing with the multi-100 lb barbells, and we at least glance at the 30-something pigtailed blond bouncing merrily and faster than us on the elliptical in front of us.
I'm talking about the competitive urge, though, not the boy-girl aspect. I'll admit that I envy the taller, hunkier guys with more rugged features and builds than mine, and there is an ugly thread of hatred in that because I imagine they could have stolen the girl I liked when I was in high school, or gotten a job I wanted for being a more formidable or impressive presence. It is common for women to feel similar things, to feel defeated by women who are shapelier, more athletic, more charming, etc. People who are relatively free of interpersonal competitiveness, whether in talents, brains, career success, wealth, fame, fitness, attractiveness, etc. are blessed in a way, I think.
Anyway, all such comparisons and competitions can interfere with, or even defeat, our personal fitness goals (unless we are, in fact, seriously competitive athletes). Indeed, they can discourage people from pursuing their goals at all. Some people are afraid of gyms. The ancient Greeks were not. Their gyms were for people without manual labor who needed phys ed and intellectual stimulation. OK, it is true, they liked the boys too but that is not what we are about.
My suggestion is to make a set of, say, 6 fitness provisional goals (signal goals, eg body composition, distance on 60-second sprints of whatever sort, deadlift max, number of pull-ups, etc) and to keep a monthly log of progress while doing the full round of fitness efforts. This takes the focus off others and puts it where it belongs, at least in this area of life. We don't compare our bank accounts with Warren Buffet's. We compare them with ours from last month or last year.
Am I progressing morally, spiritually, financially, physically, intellectually, culturally, from year to year? If not, what the heck am I doing with this incredibly challenging and often-harrowing brief gift of life? Waiting for something? Or surviving (not a bad idea)?