When Susie and I moved here to Chapel Hill, my first effort at daily exercise was a half hour on the treadmill at the nearby Wellness Center. I used one of those machines that allows you to set the speed, in tenths of a mile per hour and the angle of incline in degrees. Over a period of several months or more, I ramped the machine up to maybe 4.2 or 4.3 mph and an angle high enough so that I was in effect climbing a hill. Meanwhile, right next to me, like as not, was some young thing running 7 miles an hour [I peeked] up a hill I could not have managed. Very discouraging. When I mentioned this to my son, Tobias, he gave me some sage advice. Tobias, by the way, at 45, is in way better shape than I have ever been at any time in my life, even when I was in the Army. "Dad," he said, "you have to ignore the others at the gym, because there will always be someone running faster or lifting more weights than you. You just have to focus on raising your personal best."
Which brings me to the computer game of FreeCell.
I have on occasion mentioned that I play a good many games of FreeCell [and other computer card games]. On my present computer, which I have had for maybe three or four years, I have played 14,560 games, according to the little statistics recorder. It is not a difficult game, and my win ratio [without using the undo or takeback facility !] is 97%. I am currently working on an unusually good run of wins. A few moments ago, I recorded my 187th win in a row. The computer tells me that my personal best is 240, and I am holding my breath as I get within hailing distance of that score.
Now, a little Googling tells me that there are people who have actually played every FreeCell game contained in the program. They have discovered that every one of them can be won except for a single game, for which no one has ever found a solution. For these FreeCell professionals, my 187 win run would be the equivalent of a slow walk on the treadmill with no angle at all.
But I must hold to my heart Tobias' advice, and concentrate on my personal best.