It’s not just “fun” to a competitor.

I am a relatively relaxed and calm individual when I am among friends and family. As most of these people also know, I am not into board games or computer games. I don’t get competitive at all during the aforementioned past times. But things do tend to change when it involves activity.

Over the previous long weekend I was invited to play a game of doubles tennis. I am not very good at the game. I have not been playing for long but I still take the skill seriously and hope to be good at some point in the future. To add to this mix I consider myself an athlete. I am not a professional by any means but I take working out and boxing seriously as they are things I teach on a daily basis. The point being is that I am competitive. I don’t like to lose and I will do what it takes (within the rules) to win.

Moving on swiftly. One of the others is also very competitive but the other two are not. Here is where I begin…

The competitive mindset does not play for “fun” in my opinion. There are winners and losers. Competitors do not like to lose. If one enjoyed losing there would be no point in playing the game. As the object of every game is to win. Whether or not it is a game of pickup street hockey with your peers or on the ice in a AAA game everyone wants to win. When Brett Favre has his first game of “fun” football will he care if he loses? I think so. When a boxer is sparring he may put himself in positions where he normally is not used to just so he can have that skill when he fights. He does this because he wants to win. Combat athletes do not train to get knocked out. None of them. I think you get the point.

The non-competitive mindset is a little different. In the “fun” games there are truly no winners or losers. It’s all about the game. This is an excellent way to look at things for some people. In their mind there is nothing at stake so who cares who wins and who loses? If you are of this mindset during physical activities one may say the same of when they are non-physical. I don’t think that is the truth but there may be some truth to it.

Back to the tennis game….. I get vocal and have been known to throw out a couple of four letter words when I am not doing well. I vent my frustration. To another person who is competitive there is an understanding of why I would be like this. To the other, it seems I am angry at them for scoring a point. They could not be more wrong. I am angry at myself for losing a point.

I suppose that is what makes the world go round. Our differences and our approaches to getting things done. Some of us want to win everything we do, even if the odds are insurmountable and some of us are happy to ride the wave and let it wash us up on the shore of life. I know which group I am in and if means finding a surf board and finding my own path to the shore that’s what I will do.

Have a good day

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