I’ve never considered myself a competitive person.
My coworkers beg to differ. When I’ve said that I’m not competitive here at work, they snort, scoff and laugh out loud. “Riiigghhhttt, you’re not competitive. Sure, sure, whatever you say, Heather.”
Now, I always strive to do my best and I like to win and I will try hard to win, but I know my limits and I’m content to stay within them.
Put in language a runner can understand: In a race, I will run at a level of personal discomfort, but I will never be the girl vomiting at the finish line — I don’t care THAT much.
I give careful consideration to running someone down at the finish line, and, indeed, passing them at all.
I know that many runners wouldn’t (and don’t) give running someone down a second thought — if they’ve got more gas than the guy/girl in front of them, they’re going for it. It’s part of the game; just part of the strategy, in fact (saving a little gas in the tank for a final “kick”).
As much as I’m a competitor, I’m a compassionate competitor. This may seem silly, but I kinda feel bad when I pass people.
Ran a race this weekend in which I passed a girl who had obviously started out too fast. I knew her and I didn’t want to pass her, but it was clear she was fading and I was simply holding my pace.
Sometime after passing her, she started walking and then, eventually, dropped out. And I felt awful.
It may have had nothing to do with me at all. May have been a cramp or a bad race or simply a girl who ran out of gas after taking off with the front runners, but…the bottom line is this: I never want to be the reason a woman feels defeated. I never want to be the reason a woman gives up.
I want to be the reason they keep going and pushing and trying.
That’s why I’m content to stay behind, pushing gently and refusing to pass at the end….because usually it means more to that person than it does to me.
I guess that’s what I mean when I say I’m not competitive. If I know winning means more to you, I will let you have it because …well, because it means more to you. And, I just like making people — especially women — feel good about themselves.
That’s just how I roll, er, race.