Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Competitive Fire Within

My competitive fire may have been something I was born with, if not it's been around since I was a little tike!  When I was younger I was wanted to win - no matter what it was.  A family board game, soccer game, karate tournament, band, spelling bee, geography bee, juggling contest, running race - basically anything and everything.  One of my earliest memories of truly having a competitive fire within was while playing backyard soccer with my brother and parents.  My team (probably Mom and Holli) were losing to the boys (Brother and Dad)!  How could this be, I wasn't going to let it happen, and so I walked away from the game to go do something else!  Was I quitting - debatable but a competitive fire was born or awakened!

I like to be the best I can be at what I do, always have and always will ( I hope).  Being the best I can be means winning and performing better tomorrow than I did today.  Growing up playing soccer my coach told me I had a refuse to lose attitude - put me in a losing situation in training and I will do everything in my power to not lose in the end.  In karate tournaments I won medals - in each event - sparring, forms, board breaking, even loudest Ki-Yai.  I was always looking for ways to get on and play for better soccer teams - extra training, camps, drills in the yard, fitness, anything that would get me on ODP, Varisty, and a State Championship team.  Winning became habit, but at times and with some teams losing became a habit - I would become emotionally annoyed, frustrated and angry when that was the case.  Losing happens, we learn from it, we improve, others experience the thrill of victory and we grow from the experience but when losing becomes a habit is a dangerous bridge to cross.  If you become so comfortable losing and you justify it then what motivation do you have to train harder and develop a plan to improve for the next time?

Have you every gotten stuck in a situation because it was comfortable?  What did you do to get out of the rut?

So what does all this have to do with now you ask?  My competitive fire came out strong today at the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon and it was fed!  Throughout undergrad I didn't like being uber competitive with my roommates or teammates and now I am no longer competitive with others when it comes to grades - I just do what I can while maintaining my sanity and hopefully so do they.  My roommate has joked with my that I am one of the most competitive people in class - but I never really saw it - now I must say he is right and read me like an open book.

I was pumped for the race - at the peak of the inverted U for arousal!  Ready to see what I could do this 2011 Tri season, test out the new wet-suit, and have fun, while performing my best and bringing the glory to HIS name.  The race started out with a prayer by an FCA-E teammate = awesome!  I was ready to push myself in each discipline - a test of my strength, endurance, perseverance and faith.  I pushed hard through the entire race and finished with a great time.  I stated my goal of finishing on the podium previously because I knew I was capable of it if I performed my best.  A full race re-cap will come later this week but all I can say is that it was awesome.  When I began to feel tired I repeated one of my favorite lines from the Competitor's Creed, "My soreness if a sacrifice to my Savior."  I chased other athlete's down, enduring until the end.  I finished 3rd, fed my competitive fire, and drive to train harder.

What do you do to get pumped for competition?  How do you refocus during the competition?

The competitive fire was lit inside me long ago but has been reignited in the spirit of triathlon and knowing the results of my efforts must result in His glory.  It has driven me to train hard before and is now driving me to train even harder.  To work on and improve in my areas of weakness and to learn from mistakes I made at this race so I don't make them again this season (taking time to put bike gloves on for 18 miles, eh?)  To better myself in each performance - podium or no podium (but we always want the podium to be involved!).  Details of the Kinetic Sprint will come in a post later this week once I have the specific time breakdowns.  I know although I had a great performance there are areas of improvement to work on.  

The competitive fire within makes the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that much sweeter!

1 comment:

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