It Makes You Better
Prior to joining Clark Hatch Fitness Center downtown I got my workout walking around Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island. Whenever working out, I make it a point to time myself on my iPhone. As I was “walking” the park one morning I saw myself gaining on an elderly Japanese man “running” very slowly up ahead of me. I picked up my pace and caught up with him. As I passed him by (walking) I saw him give me a concerned look.
Within a few minutes he ran past me, looking back with a smile on his face. I picked up my pace a bit more, but couldn’t seem to gain on him. I noticed that he kept looking back at me, and the gap between us got wider and wider until he was out sight. At that point I felt myself slow down a bit; however upon the completion of my walk I saw that I had one of my best times yet around the park. I suspect that he did too.
Looking back on this experience got me thinking about the power of competition. Here we were two men that don’t know each other, both out for our morning excercise. There was no race underway, no prize at the finish line, no one else was watching, and no words were spoken. However we both got in a better workout because of the subtle competition that was created. From my side, the motivation was the pride of walking faster than someone running. From his side it was the humiliation of having a “walker” pass him by.
When You Compete You Win
Whether it’s walking around the park or selling in a store, spirited competion will make you better. In a race (or a sales contest) there’s only one number one, but everyone that competes is a winner. If you are in ninth place and catching up with number one seems impossible, set your sights on number 8, then 7 and so forth. You will be better off than if you are content with where you are.