Competition can affect us in many ways. It can both inspire and hinder progress. In our every day life, we sometimes feel pressured by competition; pressure to fit in, measure up, look or even act a certain way. There are those who compete with us, whether we welcome that behavior or not. It can start as early as our childhood, for example, remember how in High School, girls sometimes competed for guys or even just for popularity?
Competition, we believe, can sometimes have negative “side effects” in the case of “High School” for example, it can possibly lead to poor body image or an unsafe approach to dieting should one competitor feels less worthy than the other and feel the need to change themselves to measure up.
Even when I was over weight, I never felt intimidated or the need to measure up to others, but this is not the case for everyone. There was competition to be good at things, but I never felt the need to hurt myself to compete to look the way others did.
On the other hand, competition in sports can be very healthy for young people and adults alike, competition gets people excited and inspired to get and stay fit and succeed at their fitness goals.
Even watching sports competitions can inspire young people to get active and in today’s sedentary, video game driven landscape, it’s important to encourage young people to get involved in healthy competition activities to stay healthy and express themselves through athletics.
We want to encourage a way to turn competition into something that can help, rather than hinder you! We have learned that competition can actually be used in a positive way to fuel you to succeed. As an example, competition among peers can help you stay motivated to get to the gym and conquer a tough workout.
In a group fitness setting, you can have a “secret” competition with another person in your class without them even knowing it. Competition can work to push each of us to work to our full potential.
A little healthy competition came in handy for Michelle and I at times, we were able to push one another to do better by pushing our individual selves. When one of us was having an off day but the other one was in the groove, that mood and “competition” often kicked in to help push the other to do better. In Spin class, for example, we would do our best to keep up with one another.
Signing up for a race with friends can help you to compete against your own best time or help you to keep up with those that are maybe more experienced runners than yourself.
Competing against yourself is also a great form of competition. You can compete to beat your best time in a run, or in a CrossFit WOD. Or you can challenge yourself to learn a new activity or even work up to something as simple as completing a proper push-up!