Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I may throw like a girl, but I'm competitive like a man

I may not be the most coordinated person on earth, but I enjoy playing sports and I am a competitive spirit.  A friend emailed me the other day and wanted to play football on the mall (awesomeness).  This means that it is almost time for real football and that is one of my favorite things to do.

I have to admit that I am a much better football fan than I am a player.  Mostly because I throw like a girl and have a tendency to fall down.  But on the plus side, I am a competitive spirit (competitive like a guy) and I enjoy tackling (and half of the time it isn't even on purpose :-/).

I've been thinking a lot about my competitive nature lately. I've tried to be less competitive, but then I don't have fun.  Is it wrong that I like to win? I like to win in the right way, not trying to completely take out my competition.  I enjoy a competitive spirit because I think that it makes everyone try harder. I think it makes people excel. I think that it pushes people to go beyond what they think that they can do.

In contrast, I am also a cooperative person.  At work, I've been know to say, "I'd rather work with you, but I'll beat you if I have to." I think there is a great balance between being competitive and being part of a team.  I would rather get other people to excel along with me (mostly because I like to see others succeed and I like to continue to push myself) because I think that it elevates the entire field.

In most situations (I'll set sports aside for now), I'd rather work with a team in a cooperative fashion than have to compete against my colleagues. I think that sometimes a competitive environment is bad, when people are focused on beating each other rather than what are the best outcomes and how everyone can be elevated to continue and excel so that you're not competing with yourself, but you're competing against others.

In a sports situation, I think that the same applies. You shouldn't try to beat your own team, but you should try to elevate your team so that you can beat other teams.  This isn't something new, this is just common sense.

But getting back to my wicked skills, I like to play sports because I enjoy playing on a team. I enjoy winning and I enjoy pushing myself harder than I would on my own. I remember when I was younger and I had to play on a boy's basketball team.  I don't remember all of the details, but all that I know is that I was the only girl on the team and I kept trying to hold my own and prove my worth. 

I think the same still holds today. I may not be playing on a boys basketball team, but I am a younger person in my workplace and I often find myself in situations where I may be the only female (or one of a few).  I think the lessons I learned when I was a kid in competition have greatly helped me today in my professional life. 

That being said, I am inviting everyone over to play Nintendo Wii with me anytime.

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