I think this is another one of those, “I think I have talked about this before, but I’m going to talk about it again”. And if I haven’t, then it’s new material, hooray!
On our American nationals trip, Saulo asked us in a sort of rhetorical fashion why we compete. I have to admit in the beginning, for a time I competed because I felt external pressure when we had a different instructor at our academy, and much less due to my own volition.
Then, for a short while, it was a determination to face my fear of competition, to not let my fear hold me back. In my past I have also had some unpleasant experiences with sore losers and sore winners- people who pouted and were angry even when they were winning, because they weren’t winning enough, if that makes any sort of sense. I have always been someone that wanted to keep the peace; I reasoned I wanted to rock the boat as little as possible, couldn’t upset anyone if I didn’t play into the game.
So, taking all of that into consideration, I had in a lot of ways become afraid of competition, because it meant upsetting someone by either winning or losing- I was screwed either way. However in that act of defiance I could already feel something laying at the bottom of all that emotional baggage; a true desire to compete. Not so much winning or losing- of course everyone wants to win- but a honest desire to take everything I have and put my skills and will up against another person.
So, now we’ve come to another stage, where I go to these tournaments because I honestly want to, and I think it has been the support of my team that has really made me feel comfortable in pursuing that desire for competition. I feel that decision to not run from my fears has been “the road less traveled”, and I truly believe it has made all the difference.
So why do you compete; and if not, why?