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Our Competitive Human Nature

by Susie Shina

I‘m 5‘11“and leggy…surprisingly,I’m not a natural runner. That being said,I ‘ran’a 5k race for charity not too long ago. After the pack thinned out,I was just sort of running my own race. Next thing I knew some woman twice my age,wearing a crocheted sweater over her sweatpants was passing me. I heard that voice in my head say,“oh,hell no…“and I picked up my pace and started hauling it. I would NOT be beaten.

What was up with the sudden rush of competition? I’ll tell you what it was…My ego.

We’ve all felt it. That deep,almost animalistic urge to compete. Since the beginning of time,we,as a human race have competed for everything from food to love. There is nothing like the feeling of overcoming,conquering,squashing,rolling over,pummeling,or stomping our competition. Pretty exciting,huh?

Our egos kick into high gear the minute we perceive someone is ‘better’than us. Fitness ability,weight,looks,money,kids,or the lasagna they make,whatever…there will always be someone who seems to be,do or have more. What about the flip-side of this? What about when we are on the receiving end,being perceived as fitter,thinner,better-looking,with loads of money,gifted kids and mad kitchen skills?

What if we let it all go. Let go of the competition. Instead of competing,we focused on cooperation. I’m not one to hug trees,I’m just talking about working together for the greater good so to speak. Imagine allowing yourself to be inspired by those people that are doing,being and having what you want. Then in return,reaching out and inspiring,motivating and helping other people to be their best too. We can check our egos at the door with these 3 things:

  • Focus on your personal best.
  • Have the confidence to see the awesomeness in others.
  • Be willing to share what you know.

Striving for our personal best has nothing to do with anyone else...non-competitive,it’s a personal best. Seeing the greatness in others can help us be aware of what we want to achieve. Sharing what we know is a testament to our own awesomeness. If we let go of the competition,focus on cooperation,and aim to achieve our personal best,we can all get what we’re looking for.

Instead of trying to show that woman that I could beat her and her crocheted sweater into the ground,I could have run my own race,congratulated her at the end,been inspired by her ability and shared some training tips with the two people that finished behind me. I have a feeling there will be other opportunities to get it right.

Susie Shina is the creator/author of 60Second Circuits:1000 exercise combos to Get your Body Back! Susie is the creator of Fit Enough.™and continues to be a sought -after expert fitness resource and contributing writer for several publications and websites.

©2008 Team Shina Go! Inc. Fit Enough.™

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