What does it mean to you?
I feel nervous writing this. Talking about winning is difficult because winning means different things to different people. Our culture rewards winners. Gold medalists are on the Wheaties box, and everyone likes to be first. But a few characteristics differentiate one winner from another, and I’d like to mention two of them: one is the meaning of winning itself. “Winning” for one person isn’t necessarily winning for someone else. To some, winning means being first, and they’ll go to great lengths to post the fastest time, lift the most weight, etc. To others, they’re happy to beat their own personal best, even if it isn’t #1.
Another differentiator is desire. How much do you want it, and what are you willing to do to win? Are you willing to work harder than anyone else? Are you willing to lose a few – to come in second, fifth, or even last because you’re focused on proper form or technique, rather than just speed? Does being first make you the best? Only you can answer that for yourself.
You know what else? Sometimes it’s good to lose – to not be #1. Especially at our level, where we’re not getting paid to win, it’s good to have someone faster, stronger, and more skilled to train with. Having someone to chase makes us better because the focus doesn’t have to be on winning – you can’t win – the focus can be on just trying harder and pushing yourself. I’ve heard one client say, “my goal today was not to get lapped by [insert name here], and I didn’t.” Hopefully you walk into the gym looking forward to the challenge, not just looking forward to being first.
At Fit, we have a diverse community, and almost everyone has someone to chase, whether it’s running faster, lifting more or doing more reps. If you always have the fastest time, are you using heavy enough weight? Are you doing unassisted pull-ups? Are you using a high enough box? Squatting as low as you can? Unless you’re injured or have a physical limitation, use the motivation of faster times (yours or someone else’s), heavier loads, and proper technique to help push you to learn something new or do something better.