Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Competition Is A Good Thing

I just got back from playing two intense games of racquetball--I am tired. But you know what--it's a "feel good" tired. It the kind of tired that comes when you put out the effort required to reach a goal and you achieve it. In this case, the goal was to win. Yes, I play the game for it's value as a fitness exercise, but I've been a competitor of sorts all my life and I want to win. I try to push myself hard when I'm doing other exercise--especially something like doing a Tabata workout on the bike or the rowing machine. But nothing serves as an incentive to put out effort like trying to win. I had several points today where I had to go cross court several times to keep a rally going. After one point in particular, my opponent said "you really wanted that one." As I stood there gasping for air so I could serve the next point, I thought to myself "yep, I wanted that point, and everyone before it, and everyone that will come after it." I didn't win them all, but I tried to. And that's what makes this such a great exercise.

I played varsity basketball at a Catholic high school. I remember before a game, one of the priest came to say a prayer and give us a little talk. He used that old quote about how it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. After the priest left, coach turned to us and said "if it doesn't matter if we win our lose, then why are we keeping score? Let's go out their and kick their ass!"


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