Why do I compete?

The past couple of days I’ve been asking myself this question, “Why compete?”  People workout everyday without ever signing up for a 5K, marathon, or triathlon.  My brother thinks it’s ridiculous to pay $50 or $250 for a race entry fee.  To be honest, he’s right.  Another blog, 321delish had a good post today on the frustrations with triathlon training.  I thought it was a sincere post that examined multiple aspects of the sport.  Usually we get caught up in the high of finishing a race or even the “idea” of finishing a race.  This is enough to coax us out of bed in the morning or onto the road after a long day of work.

So why am I paying ridiculous race entry fees?  Why do I sign up for races that force into bed early on the weekends and out of bed at some horrible hour in the morning?  Why put myself through the pressure of competing against 1,000 or 10,000 strangers?  Who in their right mind wants to get tossed around by the waves and hit by other people swimming?  Why do we put our butts through the torture of a hard bike seat just for the sake of a few grams?  What about all those blisters my feet have endured?

The reasons pile up and the more I examine my lifestyle, the more I wonder if I’m just crazy.  Then, I remember the friends I’ve made through this sport and our shared bond.  My lazy nature is countered the moment I have competition.  I have purpose when I sweat that has nothing to do with my weight.  There’s also the joy of sharing this sport with others, that’s probably my favorite.  This sport has given me a healthier outlook on competition, a chance to push my limits, and a place to spend all my extra money.  Encouraging other people to challenge their bodies and get healthier is my way of giving back.

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5 Responses to Why do I compete?

  1. Shannon says:

    I love competing because it gives me something to look forward to. Even if I haven’t necessarily trained for a race I still like to participate and enjoy the fun

    • Courtney says:

      You are right, competing is fun even if you haven’t trained. I can’t ever remember regretting a race. It’s so much fun to get caught up in that excitement.

  2. I don’t think it’s crazy to pay race entry fees like that. Racing and training together is what forms strong friendships, and I’d rather shell out $50, $100, whatever for a race once a month or so than waste money at a bar with “friends” who don’t understand why I love training.

    It may be money you spend now, but you save in the long run, I think.

    • Courtney says:

      Haha! I hadn’t even considered all the money I don’t spend on bar tabs and eating out. That’s a really good point. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Yes, I’d workout without a goal race in mind, but I also think my workouts would lack direction and focus. I like having a goal to keep me honest and give me something to reach for and achieve. The older I get (and unfortunately, that’s on the older side) the less I enjoy going out later at night so going to bed early isn’t usually a problem for me. I just try to make sure my training/racing schedule doesn’t put a strain on my marriage and that I’m able to keep a somewhat healthy balance of social life outside of my training friends. Everything in moderation, right?
    (I also race because I can- and it’s my “thing”- most of my friends have kids, multiple kids, and therefore don’t have time to train/race, but I can’t have children so I race- it gives me something to focus on instead of wallowing in self pity at our situation. Yeah, that’s heavy for a blog comment, but it’s also honest.)

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