Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blog Fodder


So I had a conversation the other night with my favorite person about competitiveness.

It started out by me saying I am not very competitive at races. I am not agressive, I don't think about winning, I don't even do a decent warm up.

But he reminded me that he has seen my competitiveness, and yes, I can be that.

I suppose he took the connotation as negative, but for me, competitiveness has a neutral connotation. There are times when I admire someone's competitive drive, and there are times when perspective gets lost.

In a country driven by greedy capitalistic actions, its no wonder that competitiveness gets a bad rap. There's not a whole lot about competitiveness thats kumbayaish. And the mere definition of the word smacks a little negative:
To strive against another or others to attain a goal

Strive against others. Sort of harsh.

But thats what we all do by racing. And its a damn load of fun. And we show up each week to do it and some even dedicate a considerable amount of our free time trying to encourage others to do it.

So can it be all that bad?

And if I am not competitive, what am I doing showing up each week to races?



Blah blah blah blah...I can't remember exactly where we went with the conversation that night.

But thats because I was mostly just trying to get lucky.

17 Comments:

At 10:09 AM, May 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

it has struck me as somewhat odd that i chit-chat with gals before and after races and we support and encourage eachother

and then we start racing and are doing everything we can to beat eachother

i don't know what that means, my brain is too strained

 
At 11:27 AM, May 17, 2006, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

The majority of women racing around here seem to remember that support and encouragement are at least as important as the competition itself. I am someone who will compete for almost anything, but I'm trying to make a shift so I'm always competing against myself rather than other people.

I find that while I do like to do well and look for progressions in my finishes, I am happiest and have the most fun when I chart my own progress on its own, not in reference to other specific people. This helps me be happy when I see other women getting good results, challenging themselves and beating their expectations. That makes me happy. Sometimes when I say things like that I get funny looks, though.

Someone I know says that as long as you do one thing you're proud of you've had a successful race. I like that philosophy. If the whole thing is too wrapped up in results it's not going to be fun.

 
At 2:13 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger ginmtb said...

You have to try to get lucky? What the...

 
At 2:16 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Benjaminiac said...

did it work? your sweet talk?

 
At 2:28 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Benjaminiac said...

as for the competitiveness, i have a hard time being competitive about just about anything. besides racing.

i hate driving aggresively, i'm okay with waiting in line, there's nothing i really need to be in a big rush for, i'm really not THAT busy.

i also think i plan ahead enough that i am more or less on top of things.

during races, i think it's part of my job and i keep it for that. i know when to be aggressive during the race, and i think i have the patience to wait for that point.

are most other people similar, or is racing an outlet, a release valve that helps you with your daily trials and tribulations?

 
At 2:40 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

i agree elf
i am very competitive but it is really about me and not about others whether i always realize that at the time or not

and i always tell myself 5 good things that i did after a race whenever i find myself focusing on something negative

results will come
or not

but i will be learning, growing, and having fun

or else i'll find something else to do

 
At 3:06 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger diskzero said...

are most other people similar, or is racing an outlet, a release valve that helps you with your daily trials and tribulations?

Racing is my chance to put all the hours of training into practice. Since I dont' race for a living, my motivations might be different. First, I want to be happy with myself. This usually doesn't involve thinking about winning, but just operating at the highest level I can manage.

I want to be competitive, but I also want to keep the respect of all of the people I race with. I train with a lot of them and care about them. I never want to be know as the screaming guy, or the spitting guy, or the guy who rammed his bike into a hole causing someone else to crash out. Has this attitude kept me from placing higher in certain races? Probably.

It is corny, but I remember seeing a picture of Davis Phinney and Erik Bruekink chatting while waiting for the results of photo finish. They looked like real pros who knew when to leave rivalries on the race course.

 
At 3:39 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

thanks, xbunny, for the five things. that sounds like something I should start doing when the "why nots" creep up.

if it ever stops being fun I hope I will have the presence of mind to stop doing it.

 
At 4:20 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

I can eat more than any of those people.

As long as the dogs are veggie....

 
At 4:21 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

Snerf says that after each race, her and her team would each have to recite 3 things they did for a teammate.

thats nice.

 
At 4:21 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

But I am not competitive...

 
At 4:36 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

If its not about others, then why do we all show up at the start line at the same time?

Why don't we just go hop on our bikes and ride as fast as we can and time ourselves each week?

 
At 4:41 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger diskzero said...

Shared suffering with other cycling compulsives.

"Dude, that race was so gnarly. I think I burst my spleen."

 
At 5:03 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

because passion for something is better shared?

 
At 5:33 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

mmm..passion

please pass the salty sex tablets.

 
At 6:35 PM, May 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

well i do that sometimes too
the ride by myself and time myself thing

but i don't enjoy the food and drink as much afterwards when i'm by myself

 
At 8:23 AM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Erein said...

Why don't we just go hop on our bikes and ride as fast as we can and time ourselves each week?

Because competing against ourselves is boring. I can think of a few people I'd like to beat, not because I want to crush their souls and rub it in their face. But because I want to achieve their level of skills and athletic ability.

Competitiveness is not a dirty word. It makes you train better, and try harder, and along the way you can find satisfaction in the improvements that you make.

Poor sportsmanship while competing is always bad form. Before, during and after the race.

 

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