“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is.” – Vince Lombardi
Competition drives me.
Being a life long athlete and someone who has competed on the highest levels of their sport, I guess you could say I live for it.
In fact, my life is built around healthy competition. I can attribute it to major break throughs (and break downs), new goals and new discoveries about myself.
Usually a change in perspective helps fix negative connotations surrounding competition.
Take the CrossFit Open for example. There are some polarizing thoughts of why you should or shouldn’t be competing. At the end of the day, you can make it mean whatever you want. Like a fun game of pick up football, I choose to make it mean community, athleticism, camaraderie in sport and fun.
There are many benefits to healthy competition. Here’s a few below.
It Teaches Us
There’s nothing better than competing against yourself. Whether you know it or not, we are wired to do things better than before. Whether that’s physical or mental, we are better than generations before us in technology, life expectancy, etc because we as a human race push ourselves to betterment. Along the way we learn what works and what doesn’t. We make adjustments to make ourselves and the world around us better.
Makes Us Goal Oriented
In life and in the gym, we all have goals. Sometimes it’s earning that bonus at work, or it could be getting your first pull-up. Stepping outside your comfort zone is a catalyst for change. Setting a date for your first 5k or marathon puts in motion action to help you accomplish a new task. Along the way, you learn more about yourself.
Competition is supposed to be fun. In fact, the athletes that perform the best are usually the ones seen smiling and relaxed before a competition. Competition brings out the best in us. It asks us to step up to a level that we often can’t access on our own. It shows us where we need to be better for next time.
I know this was especially true for me. Part of successful competition means holding this place of “fun” in my mind. One of my mentors used to coach the 3 c’s “calm, cool, confident” before competition. It was a reminder to relax, be confident in yourself and do your best. All too often we associate the result with our self worth. We mostly see this with younger athletes, who haven’t been coached properly on what healthy competition is.
When I’m relaxed, I perform at my best. Whether it’s giving a speech in front of dozens of athletes or a physical test in CrossFit or others, this always holds true.
What happens in the gym doesn’t stay in the gym
PR’s, learning new movements and applying yourself towards physical endeavors has real life benefits outside the gym, including but not limited to better self confidence and esteem. When mental barriers are broken, so are physical ones. Pushing ourselves in the gym is another means towards gaining an edge in life’s scenarios.
So why not compete in the Open? Scale the weight and movements that you can’t do yet. Put yourself in a position for physical and mental betterment. When you come out of it, you will be blessed with a better knowledge of yourself and maybe even come away with a passion to do more. Nobody said you have to do pullups till your throw up. Do what you can and have fun!
Never Let It Rest,