Competition : we are wired differently.

I am the race director for a local triathlon. I did a quick radio segment earlier in the week to talk about the race, and the radio host asked me what the records are for the race and who holds them. I have no clue! He then tried for a softball question – well, who won last year? Still no clue.

I know this is so important for some people! But I don’t care who won. I love seeing people push themselves to complete the race, but that’s a beautiful thing whether you are first, 20th, or last.

I am tempted to think it’s because I never have any hope of winning so it just isn’t something I think about. Plus, as race director I’m far more focused on avoiding death and serious bodily injury than winners.

But I don’t think either of those capture it. I think some of us are just more competitive than others. Which, I think is awesome and fantastic. Triathlon is a lovely sport in that you can enjoy it whether you want to win, set a personal record, or get out there and have fun with people cheering you on. It is utterly ridiculous to squeeze into a tight suit, hop into cold water, and then ride a bicycle soaking wet. After riding, you transition to your feet which are wobbly and confused for at least the first few minutes. It’s ridiculously fantastic whatever your goals are for the finish line, and however your mind’s competitive angle functions (as long as you don’t take the competitive spirit too seriously!).

One thought on “Competition : we are wired differently.

  1. Liz, I think this is wonderful and such an important perspective to have–both as a participant and especially as a race director: welcome, welcome everyone! Join in, experience the trememdous camaraderie of the sport and the empowerment and sense of accomplishment that comes with training, participating, and finishing. I think competitiveness is well and good, but it sometimes expectations overtake us and we just lose sight of the triumph that exists just in participating. In an often pressure laden life, we often lost sight of the value of the process and overly value the outcome.


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