Oh, believe me, I get it. I have a younger brother who was better at everything I cared about as a kid. Rather than spend the rest of my life upset and depressed about being older yet second best I just quit "competing". I told myself winning didn't matter and I didn't care where I finished as long as I'd done my best.
It still bothers me and besides still hating lose it bothers even more that it bothers me. Why should I care? What possible difference could it make in this big ol' universe where I finish a game - a stinkin' game - relative to others!?!!
We're such a win/lose, "you're first or you're last" culture that winning is sometimes seen as the most important - or only - measure of our value as people. Lawyers aren't judged on being fair, impartial upholders of the law they're, judged on their cases won. Doctors are valued, not on their caring and striving to cure disease but on the percentage of successful procedures performed. There are pros at the top of both these professions that will routinely turn down cases because the risk of ruining their perfect track record is too high. They can't take the chance of failing and a client or patient is shuttled to someone else - someone with balls - to help them.
Here's the word. Competition is a test. When we train at the gym we like to say that we're competing against ourselves. Really what we're doing is using the score to compare and track improvement. I think we're really competing against the workout. That's what's testing us. Can I better this workout? How well can I do this task and not let it get the best of me?
On another level we compete with our classmates. The other person is there to provide me with a real life challenge to what I can do. "Steel sharpens steel". I only improve as I strive against real life challenges. By the same token I provide the same thing for others. I need to do well for the sake of my "competitors". Now competition isn't a head to head to see who can "win" but an opportunity to get and provide a challenge so we both get better.
I can only be my best when I push myself in a tangible way. By doing so I give someone else the same benefit.
Keep this in mind as we head into CrossFit Games Open season. It's not about you it's about them. Be a competitor. Register now.