By: David Marmon
April 14, 2014
I love competition. It gives me butterflies. It makes my palms sweat. It forces me to focus. It takes me to places that most people fear going. Competition (at any level) has motivated and inspired me since I was 9 years old. To this day, the efforts and actions of my peers have a powerful influence on my own performance. I make it a point to thank my competitors for constantly “making me better”. It’s not about winning or losing for me; it’s about the experience of giving my very best effort and learning from (and living with) the outcome. My love for competition extends into all areas of my life: athletics, coaching, business, friendship, family, and faith.
I will be 36 years old this year. I am good at a few things, but I am not great at anything in particular. I will probably never qualify for the CrossFit Games Regional. I am a mediocre strongman athlete. My Olympic Weightlifting technique is about as consistent as the Virginia weather. I finish each 5k road race in a sprint out with a soccer mom. So why do I continue to compete?
Let’s start with why I don’t compete.
I don’t compete for t-shirts. Britta is constantly cleaning out and giving away all of the CrossFit t-shirts that I don’t wear. I basically have a 5-10 t-shirt rotation. If you don’t make the rotation, then I will probably never wear you.
I don’t compete for prizes (supplements, money, gear, etc.). If I want or need any of that stuff I have the means of getting it for myself.
I don’t compete for the attention or the recognition. I will always be my own biggest fan and my own harshest critic. The only praise and criticism that I know is honest and well intended is from the people closest to me.
I don’t compete to win. There are way too many variables involved in winning that are out of my control (level of my competition, performance of my competition, number of competitors, etc.).
I compete for the experience. Every time I compete, I walk away with the 3 most valuable prizes that life has to offer.
Knowledge – I learn something new about myself. I might find out that I am capable of a new skill or a higher capacity or I might recognize a weakness or a flaw that I need to correct. I can also learn from my competition (strategies, preparation, etc.).
Fellowship – Camaraderie, community, whatever you want to call it! I get to enjoy being around others that share my love for competition. Competition has afforded me some of my most valuable relationships in life.
Memories – This is what you take with you when you die and what you leave for others to remember you by. Powerful stuff!