Last night, like any other night, I was contemplating life and the meaning behind it and what I could do to change myself to make the people around me better. I got to thinking about the Biggest Loser episode and I quickly sent myself an email titled ‘Is There A Competitor In You?’ That was the entire email and when I woke up this morning and saw the BlackBerry flashing I looked at the email and on to the pool I went.
I kept thinking about the episode from last night and it dawned on me that I am a competitor. I compete at just about anything. I love watching competition and not just for winners and losers, but for the act of pushing yourself to be better. Better than yourself. Better than your opponent. Just better.
I am not a quitter. I don’t know what that word means. To me the word quit is worse than any four letter word that George Carlin ever used. It goes hand in hand with can’t. As Coach C pointed out during mile 20 of the Dallas White Rock Marathon….‘THIS IS WHERE WE SAY WE CAN. THOSE THAT CAN DO AND THOSE THAT CAN’T DROP OUT’ Was she kidding me with those words? Out came The Fighter and I’m not taking about Marky Mark. No way was I stopping. No way was I quitting. No way, no way, no way!
Do you have a competitor in you? One who sets goals that are on the edge of your fingertips and will strive and do whatever it takes to get to that goal, grip it and then find the next just out of reach goal? Are you capable of pushing yourself for one more step? One more mile? One more flip turn? Are you willing to try to get to the next level? When you set goals are they the ones you know you can achieve or are they the type that you question yourself about repeatedly until you get there?
For me nothing is impossible. I have had this mindset my whole life. I have always thought that with work all successes can be achieved and why limit myself. As an adult you fall into these routines and you begin to accept them, but once you do you realize that there is no getting better and there is just status quo. Who wants to be status quo? Don’t you want to be better than that even if it is just for yourself?
Competition brings out the best in all. It brings out the best in you and allows you to see that you can accomplish anything and allows you to push others to be better today than they were yesterday.
As an example of how much I love competition I was once caught watching a double dutch competition on ESPN (maybe it was The Ocho) and yelling at the TV for the girls to go, go, go. I was caught on the treadmill during the NYC Marathon yelling at Paula Radcliffe to kick it in and go, go, go. I have been seen running around the house self-high fiving myself because of a great play that the athlete just did not give up on. Anybody remember Don Beebe chasing down Leon Lett? Don did not give up and he pushed himself to catch Leon and did. What do you think that did for his teams morale at that moment (I know they lost, but for a moment everybody thought anything was possible.)
Challenge yourself to be better and you will end up pushing others to be better. That is the beauty of competition. As you improve so do others.