Competition Editorial by Heath Sherratt

Workout of the Day for Friday Jan 17, 2014

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50 Back squat, 95/65 pounds
50  Sit-ups
50 Back squat, 75/55 pounds
50 Good mornings, 45/35 pounds
50 Back squat, 55/45 pounds
50  Sit-ups

or, Athlete’s Choice

images-2The following is an editorial by: Heath Sherrat

Competition…it’s there to lay all opinion aside. It’s there to gauge your performance versus the rest of the world. No guessing. No argument. Just results. Just the elapsed time between the first beep and the last and tallying up the points to see who wins…. Do you have what it takes? To be the best? Can you beat the competition? That raises an interesting question that has taken me to different places than I expected…Competition…….what is that?

I hear the term “He’s so competitive.” and for some reason it gives me the heebies. I always think that competitive people are type-a driven folks that want to be better than everyone else and have that attitude of “I’m better than you, and if you beat me it’s because I beat myself.” Anybody else out there feel this way? Do you know the guy, your buddy, that always has to stay a half wheel in front of you even on the most “casual” of rides? The guy that always adds another plate to his barbell during the WODs or has to have one better move than you before they get off the field of play? Well, I have lots of those buddies and I have been asking myself, what makes one that way? Is it how they are wired? Is it a learned practice? Do they feel they have to prove something to the world? Well I have decided to do my own personal study on the matter and my first step in doing so brought about some pretty interesting findings…

The first step in finding out why folks are always comparing themselves to others was to look up the meaning of the word competitive. Now, I have my own version of the word as do many of us and the way it is used in most conversations is not accurate in the true definition of the word. I hear competition and I think of high school football coaches, I think of UFC fighting or the olympics, the birthplace of sport. Soo get me if I’m wrong but, professional athletes have taken the level of competition to another place, a darker place. Nowadays when someone makes a play in sports they have to rub it in or talk trash to degrade or demean the efforts of their opponents. They jeer and slam their chests or yell to please the crowd. They take drugs to give them an edge in competition. Anything goes as long as you get the “W” and the glory that goes with it. (and don’t get caught) The attitude has become one of domination and intimidation, not one of “Hey, lets get together and raise the ability of all around us to the highest level.”

Am I right?

The true definition of the word is summed up like this-when two or more folks get together, the level of ability is raised exponentially. Or in other words, if you ran as hard as you could around the block by yourself your fastest time would still be slower than your average time around the block with someone else running with you at a similar level of ability. This is true competition, raising the ability of all involved in a like achievement. Now I don’t know about you but if that’s the real definition of the word, then I would be honored to have someone call me competitive. But that’s where I have become confused, if that’s competition, then what is it that most of us call competition? What is the word for the behavior we find so often displayed in professional sports? What word defines the tactics, the attitudes and the behavior found at the highest level in sports right now?

That’s what I found to be a big surprise, the term as we know it, is not competition, but WAR.

That’s right, WAR.

The difference between the two looks like this-running around the block with a kid your ability= competition. Running around the block with the school bully that tells you, “I’m gonna kill you if you win or if you lose so you better get ready to die.” = War. So, I have found myself in a quandry. Is it the nature of men primarily to declare war and act as though their lives are on the line even in the midst of a WOD? Is it believable that all of us have found ourselves in the clutches of war albeit in a less blood thirsty level than our governments? And does that mean if we were in the position, would we not be waging war on our “friends” in more terrible ways? Are we really all that different than the people we choose to call our enemies? The fiends of history, the destroyers of families and nations? Would we find ourselves in their positions if we had their power? Am I going to far with this?

I digress, these are just the wandering ideas of a man caught in a thought. Propelled by curiosity and inquiring the depths of my soul as it relates to being a man. Searching for the objective truth that ties us all together.

Does this mean that your buddy that’s always adding another plate or running a little harder at the finish wants to kill you and steal your plunder? Do they subconsciously picture you on the ground broken and bloody by the effort to keep up with your ever so powerful manliness. They just can’t hang with your manliness. They are weak and you must show them how a real man does things. We must not accept their weakness or teach them with compassion. We must crush them and search for more worthy competitors…or more appropriate…more victims to wage war upon.

Is that why we are so ready to rage when someone cuts us off? Ready to burst at the seams when things don’t go our way? When your boy posts a faster time than you or pushes more weight? Is that feeling of intimidation or domination deep within you? Or is it right under the surface, bubbling over whenever you get the opportunity to work out? Right there ready to take out the first person that crosses your path? Not real? Not true? How many times have you stopped for a fallen competitor during your competitions? How many times?

Do we need to re-look at why we compete? Why we train? Why we need to be better than the next guy? Are you going out there to achieve your best? or to be better than the next guy? I know why I compete…do you?

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