Friendly Competition

I’m lucky to have found such great training partners. My only regret is my crazy schedule preventing me from training consistently with them. This season, however, I’m committed to training as much as possible with them even if it’s not convenient. 

I know I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’m competitive. Let’s face it, competition can be a lot of fun. Competition can also have an ugly side. Fifteen-year-old Courtney didn’t know the difference between friendly competition and good ol’ fashioned rivalry. My swim team was supportive of each other to a degree. It was definitely best for friendships if our best events were different. There were some tense moments when one friend would beat the other for whatever reason. Sometimes that person simply worked harder, sometimes the other person had a bad race, sometimes things just happen. If I could talk to my fifteen-year-old self, I’d say “Chill out. It doesn’t matter now and it DEFINITELY won’t matter in 10 years when none of you swim anymore.” Mostly, I was competitive with myself and the clock but there were a few times I saw the ugly competitor not be genuinely happy for my teammate’s stellar performance. Ah, thank goodness we grow up.

My group of IM Cozumel training partners have different strengths and weaknesses. We are varied in speed but not so drastic that it’s obvious who is going to come ahead of whom. Race day will be unpredictable. Injuries, weather, nutrition, etc. can all play a role in somebody’s performance. The great thing about understanding the difference between friendly competition and unhealthy competition is I will be proud of my group no matter what. 

For instance, my friend J is a long time runner turned triathlete. One nickname for her is Tasmanian Devil, I’ll call her “Taz” for short. She earned this nickname because she is speedy! Taz kicked my butt her first triathlon season. And I was proud of her. I wanted her to succeed. I also loved trying to hold her off or chase her down on the race course. 

I’m pretty sure Taz will come ahead of me at IM Cozumel. Who knows and it really doesn’t matter. This won’t stop me from thriving off mutually pushing each other in training or on the race course.

I can say the same thing for the other ladies in our group. Today’s morning run wouldn’t have happened thanks to my love of the snooze button…actually I just usually just reset my alarm. If I had managed to wake up I am not in shape to hold the pace H and I held all by myself. Nothing crazy since it was supposed to be an easy run but the competitor in me wouldn’t back off since she was by my side.

All this to say, I’m really excited about going forward with IM training with people by my side. I truly will be proud of them throughout every hard workout and early wake ups. I will also be proud of great performances and empathize with rough races.

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