Why I Still Compete And Think You Should Too

| May 7, 2014

Why-I-still-CompeteEDITORIAL – Recently, I successfully completed another half-marathon. Heavy winds and thunderstorms could not stop me. And while I was tired afterward, I also felt great. You know why?Because I’m still out there competing. Long after I was told to go home and quietly fade away. More than fifteen years after it was said my best years were far behind me.

While I continue to run such races (marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, etc) because I refuse to give up and let cancer beat me, it’s much more than that. And that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

I’m convinced that there is something to the whole competition thing that can’t be duplicated in other ways. I plan on competing in some way for a lifetime, and I think you should too.

Here are the top five reasons (in no particular order) why competition is so important:

1) Focuses your training. When you’re out there slogging away, it can seem like endless torture for no particular reason. Not so when you have an upcoming event to be ready for. Having a date on the calendar can do wonders. And once that date comes, there’s always another to go for.

2) Builds mental toughnessShort of intense combat, nothing builds your mental toughness like a physical challenge does. It forces you to reach down and see what you’re truly made of. Those lessons can then be applied in many other areas of your life.

3) Allows you to see where you are. It can be humbling to see where you are in relation to others. But it can also serve as a great motivator if you allow it. And no, you don’t have to beat others. Competing against yourself is motivating too.

4) Lets you meet new people. Going to different events allows you to meet people that you normally would not, which can have a lot of benefit far beyond the initial meeting. Friendships, relationships, and job networking often result.

5) It’s just plain fun. Here’s a sad fact. Most people don’t do much of anything for fun. They work, eat, watch TV, get on Facebook and the like, and that’s about it. Oh, and they might watch their kids having fun. Competition allows you to do that for yourself.

There you have it; five reasons to compete. While there are certainly more reasons, I believe these five will get you well on your way. And they can keep you going for a lifetime.

I’ve obviously concentrated on the kind of competition that I’m into here. That is because I believe there is nothing like physical competition to really stoke your fire, for all the reasons I’ve listed. Still, you could find some great ways to compete in many other areas too. The key is finding something that fits you, then really going for it.

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14 Comments on "Why I Still Compete And Think You Should Too"

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  1. STEPHANIE says:


  2. Monica Griffin says:

    You are a winner. No doubt about that. Great article. Thanks again for the motivation to be a better me.

  3. Julie Gayler says:

    Thanks for the kick in the pants to sign up for my next race! So many choices, LOL!

  4. Julie Cravey says:

    Another inspirational article…great job!

  5. Ross Quintana says:

    Great post, I think you hit on many key reasons to compete. I also find that strength comes when you push against something that is pushing against you. Competition forces you to push yourself which is how we grow and growth is the real benefit of competition. Thanks again Jay!

  6. Annie Marie Peters says:

    Absolutely! It’s important to always keep challenging yourself. I really admire you for running a half-marathon, Jay! That a really impressive way to stretch yourself physically AND mentally.

  7. Dave Dutton says:

    Jay that was a great article. Makes you truly realize that there really are no excuses you can give for not getting up and doing something. Thank you for sharing.