Sunday, September 27, 2009

Competitive Spirit

I am home from my first 5K run since having my surgery almost 8 weeks ago. I knew I'd be unable to run the 3 miles but I was going to try anyway. I figured a nice slow jog would be perfect for my recovering body.

Yesterday, I rode my bike 4 miles to the yoga studio, took a gentle yoga class and rode back home. My body felt great. I knew this morning's run would be exactly what I needed.

Gem and I arrived at the race site and stood in line to pick up our bib numbers. Somehow I was mistakenly signed up for the 1 mile family fun run instead of the timed 5K.

I was ticked!

I was surprised that I was so upset. Who cares if they gave me a bib that said "1 mile" instead of "5K"? I was still going to run the 5K.

Well, apparently, I cared!

As we crossed the finish line, the announcer said, "And here we have one of our 1 milers crossing the finish line."

Grrr! Are you kidding me?! (I wanted to say.) Like it would take me this long to do 1 mile?!?!

On the drive home, I wondered... "Where is this coming from? I'm not competitive."

But it took everything I had not to walk by the announcer's booth and say, "Hey you! I'm a triathlete!"


I have never considered myself competitive.

One of the reasons I stopped singing was because I grew tired of the nonsense from other vocalists trying to outdo or other bands vying for weekend nights at the club we used to play. I simply didn't care enough to compete. I was doing it for fun.

I have said all along that these athletic events are fun. These triathlons are fun. Yes, the benefits they serve to my body are good too.

However through them all, I only felt that I was competing with myself. I wanted to better my time but I still didn't put that much thought into being competitive.

I'm continually learning more and more about myself.


Earlier last week, Gentleman Jack and I were having a conversation about my job. He remarked that I don't talk that much about it. He remembered my stumbling around a description of what I do for a living.

"What's wrong with your job?" he asked me, "You seem to be... not challenged or something."

I had to think about it. He was right. Still, I was surprised at my response.

"Jack," the tears began welling up in my eyes, "I miss being a badass."

When I was a technical guru, a systems engineer, I was held in high regard. People came to me for help. I was an expert. I had to go to specialized training. I took exams to reach certain certification levels. I made a ton of money because I was good at what I did.

I felt like a badass. I loved that feeling.

Now... I don't like talking about my job. I do a job that feels... below my intellect, below my capabilities, below my experience. However, I can't complain. It is an easy job. It is a job that pays my bills. It is a job that I can leave at work so that I can focus on my children. It is a job that is close to my house.

And there it is again. That competitive streak.


Back in January, I declared to myself, family and friends that 2009 would be The Year of T.

I hoped to do triathlons and find new love and that's what I did.

I'm already making new plans for 2010. I have a feeling that this new found competitive spirit is going to push me even further than ever before.

Picture from here


  1. Honestly? A healthy amount of competition can be a good thing...especially when it motivates you to get out of your comfort zone and push your limits a bit. As long as it doesn't get out of hand, then I say use it to your advantage. :

  2. are at total badass and that's one of the reasons I love ya!

    You are a competitor; we can see it in your eyes. Sometimes the regular stuff takes priority, but you can let the competitive streak in you come out in other ways. You are a strong, intellegent, over-the-top woman. I have no doubt you can take on any challenge you CHOOSE to. :)

  3. I feel this way all of the time. I too used to be good at my job and make great money. People still compliment me by offering me jobs in my old field, but the job its self made me feel scummy and mean. I left to have a quality life and find ME, but I have to addmit that I sometimes miss being the Bad ass as you said.
    Yes, I am competitive too. It is a good thing think. It makes us strive for more.
    So, I say good for you and here is to you in 2010!!!

  4. You're such a badass! You old one-miler, you. (Ha) That's hilarious the announcer welcomed you that way. And I think it's great you are so competitive. Do things that bring your bad-assness out! You rock

  5. You ARE a badass T! And for SO many more reasons than this one.


  6. It is interesting what insights we gain about ourselves by the way in which we respond to external stimuli. The best person to compete with is your self.
    If I am better today, than I was yesterday, what more could I ask for?

  7. I AM SOOOOOOO COMPETITIVE!! I don't even notice when I'm doing it. I also want people to know that I'm married if I have my daughter with me (I know that's stupid and old-fashioned). If it somehow comes up that I don't have my college degree I HAVE to let them know that I'm currently in school. Why do we care so much about what others think? Maybe it's just me. I love your blog, BTW.


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