Competition is life. Our current word compete comes from the Latin word competere which means "to strive or contend for something". I love to compete. Against others. Against myself. Against the odds.
To compete is to test skills in an atmosphere that could possibly cause more stress. I could spend my hours on the mats rolling with the same people day in and day out. Similarly, I could train for gym personal bests, only focusing on my favorite lifts because I'm good at them in a controlled environment. No crowd to watch me. No opponent threatening to rip a limb off or put me to sleep as I try to return the favor. No judges to pick apart my every move. No unwanted distractions. No threat of the unknown.
If I step back and take a look at my business in the first half of 2018 you can read the self-satisfaction on my face and in my actions. I had time to read 80 books. Look at me I'm gaining all this knowledge. Look at me I'm getting lost in science fiction and fantasy novels. Look at me.....I'm so bored.
I needed to get scared. I needed to step off another ledge. Isn't that all risk is? Always seeking the edge and stepping, no, LEAPING off?
This weekend was my second powerlifting meet since 2015, and I loved every second of it. I was 100% prepared because I practiced all the little things. Sometimes my lifters ask me why I wait so long with pauses (contract and hold!) or why I am so particular with how their stance looks (lock out and freeze!). Well, because wouldn't it would be a shame if all of their hard work was for nothing because of the little things? I value their hard work and the fact that they show up day in and day out, even though some days they don't want to. Hell, some days I don't want to. The same applies to jiu jitsu. Why do we practice that same guard break so much? Why can't we do something cool? Well, Bob, you can't do something cool if you can't get past their guard now can you? Once that guard break, or that lift, or that sweep, is practiced so often it becomes second nature, then I know I've grown, or you've grown, or we've grown. It means we took the time to try, fail, try again, fail again and again, try, and succeed. We compete.
Now, I'm not saying that every person who lifts, rolls, climbs, etc, is destined to become a frequent competitor at their respective sports and hobbies. But I do want them to have pride in knowing that sometimes consistently showing up is a form of competition. Haven't you ever fought yourself to get out of bed to go to the gym....or work? There is actually a pattern I have noticed at my own gym. When clients start seeing that they are capable of movement and strength in ways they never thought possible, a mindset derived from their own limitations or the limitations set upon them by others, those same clients start to question other aspects of their life, as well. They are becoming more, so they want more. They could love their job and find the courage to step up and implement a new idea in their office. Maybe they inspire a friend or a spouse to explore their own physical possibilities. Or perhaps they find the courage to shed unneeded added stressors in their life because their personal standards are now set higher. A rising tide raises all ships, or so the saying goes.
Here's the point: you gotta leap. Plunge. Dive. Trust fall into the unknown. And once you land do your damnedest to climb to the next highest bluff, enjoy the view (your hard work) for just a moment, and then catapult off that ledge once again, laughing and screaming in excitement and terror.
Strive. Jump. Repeat.