While Nils and I were out for a walk this morning we encountered a PE class from the Junior High at the south end of the lake near our apartment. From what I observed, they had to do a lap on the path around the pond (close to a mile) before they began the next part of class. It was interesting to watch the kids run/jog/walk around the pond.
At the very front was the boy who was clearing running to prove he was the fastest. That or he really liked the game they were going to play next and wanted to get it started as soon as he could. But usually in the front is the person who wants to prove themself to be the best.
After him were the runners who were good at it, but also enjoy being with friends. So they ran in pairs. More than likely one was running a little slower than they could so that they could be with their friend.
Interspersed amongst them were the occasional loner. Whether they wanted to run at their own speed or they had no one that would run with them, they ran alone.
Toward the end were the clumps of people who were there because they had to be. They were the walkers. Mostly girls in this case who who probably hated being forced to have a PE class. A few hadn't even changed for class. Some clearly didn't want to ruin their look. Others lowered themselves from what they could have been achieving because they wanted to be with their friends. They moved in swarms.
Heading up the tail were the two boys who got to class late. You could easily follow them because of the cologne trail. (Jr. High boys--and a few girls--tend to either have bad body odor or too much cologne; unfortunately some carry that trend into adulthood).
We tend to go through life in the same way as those junior high kids ran around the pond. Some of us are there to get out in front and show off our skills. Others are there to do their best, while keeping relationships important. Some are clearly here because they have to be, and they're not going to put any effort into it. Some are alone; others have lost their identity in the pack. Where are you at?