On Being Competitive
On being competitive
A deeper look at precept ( 6 )
In many ways I think this may be the most difficult one to get to grips with. Anyone who has been following the ups and downs of Lance Armstrong will understand how damaging the need to win can become. I was lucky I suppose, as I went to a rather unusual school that had very progressive ideas for the time. Even though we did play other schools, the accent was more on participation than winning. Though I remember with some pain the feeling of rejection when I wasn't picked for the team. Interestingly some of my school friends that I'm in contact with though they excelled at sports haven't continued to enjoy playing. Now this can be due to many things but surely one must be that when you take away the drive to win the motivation isn't so strong.
Another problem that very competitive people suffer from are Rheumatoid Conditions.
In the insightful book The Healing Power of Illness they point out that people who are tirelessly on the go all the time are being corrected for by means of rigidity.
Of course, one can develop great friendships through sports and anyone who watched the London Olympics must marvel at how the event brought out the best in our country and the show illustrated the richness of the postwar co-operative spirit that rebuilt the country. But how many overlooked the Olympic Creed of the importance of participating rather than winning. Personally I found the competitors at the Para Olympics really awesome . Not naturally gifted they have to continually cope with what are often deteriorating physical conditions.
My children were fortunate enough to be in the Woodcraft Folk a youth movement supported by the Co-operative Society that is growing in popularity in the UK.
It's non competitive and coeducational. Incidentally when my kids were at primary school there was a national policy of group competition, but many of the parents objected and wanted to see their children winning individually.
I noticed on the web site of Fatguyon aorangebike dec 2012 he comments from the Resurgence article of the 8 precepts:
This has been one of my long standing peeves. It is also one of my long standing weaknesses. I constantly struggle with feelings of " I should be riding more" and " I should be riding up that hill". Some of this is good. To challenge yourself to improve is a good thing. The problem I have and struggle with is when this challenge becomes the only thing. I have noticed that it is when that side of me is winning that cycling becomes more of a chore than a joy. .
So I think I've covered most of the bases, incidentally when I lived in LA I went to a Dodgers game where Sandy Kofaks pitched a no hitter , can't say it was very exciting but you had to marvel at the mans skill. Also saw George Best play with the LA Wanderers an unforgettable experience though the poor man paid a very heavy price for his fame. But we mustn't forget Sir Stanley Mathews the greatest sports legend , who unnoticed for many years coached unpaid a black South African team .
Watching the Pasadena Rose Parade on the street and the Game on TV it all felt like some kind of military manoeuvre and everyone were passive viewers.
Finally some of the so called reality shows on TV seemed to have lost any sense of reality, how long can Top Gear continue to attract an audience? It's all beginning to be degrading for commercial gain. Look what happened to the Roman Games! Maybe the Greeks got it right all those years ago.
news flash: I just heard that Jeramy big mouth Clarkson is in trouble again, maybe he will turn to cycles and be saved! I do have a secret liking for him though.
So keep on trucking , but in the slow lane leaving the attitude to others. PLG tony.