When I was asked to run the 4-mile leg of a 'teamed triathlon' this fall, I hesitated. I wasn't worried about the running part; I started running recreationally back in college. Now I do an average of two miles at the gym (to keep my lithe figure, of course). I was worried about the competitive aspect.
No one likes to lose, and I've never handled it well; I used to beat myself up if I did - I had to be the best! At everything! Ah.. the mental self-mutilation to compensate for being in the closet; I remember it well.
I've since come out of the closet and accepted the fact that there are people out there that are better at some things than I am; but why put myself in a position to lose if I can control it? Same reasoning applies to why I don't gamble.
In spite of my 'avoid competition' mentality, I decided this time to go against my fears and participate in the triathlon. After all, I'm about self improvement, mentally and physically (duh, I knew I went to the gym for some reason), and that's how I'm approaching it. (Plus, I was assured that my team was doing it recreationally.)
Friendly competition isn't so bad, and neither is losing, as long as you can turn it into positive motivation and forgive yourself for things that are out of your control.
Today was a perfect day for a jog. I had a 4-mile training course planned out that involved the Williamsburg Bridge. Everything was fine until I started to ascend the the bridge. That's when I realized that the allergy pill I took right before wasn't such a good idea: I was having trouble breathing. As a result of the medication, my nose and mouth started to dry up causing my saliva and phlegm to congeal in the back of my throat and sinuses, blocking up my airways.
Determined, I focused on the Black Eye Peas babbling about their humps in my ears, breathed hard through my mouth, and made it to the other side without stopping. Victory!
I basked in the glow of my accomplishment, enjoying a light breeze, before turning back to face the bridge and realizing I was only at my halfway mark. And since my body was still trying to suffocate itself, I decided taking the train would be in my best interest.