I went out for a run yesterday morning by the beach. Five miles, slow and easy. Nothing too fierce. James came up beside me and started running backwards in the sand, and as always teasing me a bit with his beautiful self:
“Hey, looking good…race you to the Pier Carm? Come on.”
I laughed, just a little in that flirty way so he gets the hint that I’m not about to go any faster than I am right now. He prances off turning around every so often to see if maybe I’ve taken the bait. He’s absolutely stunningly, by the way. Even if I could race him, why would I choose to miss such a magnificent view? The boy’s got perfectly long muscular legs, stands about 6 feet tall. The perfect “back” if you get my “meaning” and has that beautiful “triathalony”, not-one-ounce-of body-fat frame anyone would be jealous of. And lastly, the dark beautiful skin that’s golden tanned like only the California sun can produce with perfectly blonde “surfer boy” kinda hair that’s a little too long, but perfect all wet and sweaty….
Let me tell you, if there’s ever a question why I work out every morning, let’s just say, I have incentive!
But as I watched James get farther and farther ahead of me, I started thinking a lot about racing and competition. For as much as I competed as a kid in so many different activities, I was never really a competitor. I never felt great about winning because I knew that meant someone else had to lose. And since I had my share of losing, well… it just wasn’t in my nature to like making someone else feel bad, even if it was fair competition.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for kids to learn about competition and more specifically, learn how to compete. People should learn what it feels like to win and to lose. I’m completely opposed to these new “rules” in some schools that say everyone always wins and no one ever loses and everyone gets an award and blah, blah, blah. No. Winning and losing help develop character in a way that no other experience can.
But, now, when I think back on it – I know I’ve never been a competitor, not in the classic sense anyways.
As a kid, I never competed with anyone else but myself. I wish I could say it had to do with being so wise, but actually it had more to do with knowing what it felt like to lose and realizing early on that when you win, someone else has to end up feeling bad, someone else has to lose. . . and I hated that more than anything else. So, when I danced or played basketball and won competitions or games, I always went out of my way to try and be kind, gracious and appreciative to the other competitor or team. But I hated both – losing and winning for sure.
What I did love, was “being better than I used to be”. Hearing my instructor tell me that I was 150% better from last weeks show, or, when I passed the basketball to a team member and they’d hit the winning shot when before they’d never even really played before… That was brilliant! The joy in their eyes or their overwhelming happiness was a different kind of feeling for me – it’s better than winning actually. It’s something sort of magical!
Well, suffice it to say, I gave in and started running a little faster to meet up with James. He wasn’t really running afterall. He was lightly jogging and turning around every so often to wave at me. Taunting me really. I couldn’t help but run as fast as I could when he wasn’t looking and then I leaped on his back… we both went crashing down onto the sand, the waves came up ever so close and it gave me just the little head start I needed. He was surprised and still finding his footing when I dashed ahead towards the pier.
So much for not competing.
Eeehh, I cheated… But come on, this wasn’t a real competition – suffice it to say, he still beat me (is there anything worse than cheating and still losing? OYVEY!). But it was a great work-out and a lot of fun and the reward for finishing was….spectacular! ;)
Happy Day everyone!