19 Sep It’s Ok To Compete
It’s Ok To Compete
Competition goes back to mankind’s days of hunting for food, starting tribes and claiming mates. It was natural to us. The biggest, baddest and most adaptable male passed his genes on to the next generation. Today’s male seems to have lost his primal instict though and it’s hurting more than we realize.
Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting at people from a roof but no one’s listening
Is this a dramatic analogy?
Totally, but let me explain…
Last year, my wife competed in a Primal Mud Run race. I just wrote about what these adventure races are like and that I’d like to do one like to do one in the near future.
Anyway, my wife hurt her foot, which she had previously injured, shortly after the race began but decided to finish the rest of the race on her bad foot.
Now, my wife’s badassness withstanding, I was bothered by what I saw during the race and it had nothing to do with her. She grit her teeth and gave a great effort which is more than I can say for most of the men I saw in the race.
This so called competition was anything but that.
The Lost Spirit
I’m around college football players almost every day and I’ve noticed that, if you give them an opportunity to compete against each other, a switch flips in their head and nothing else matters in that moment except winning.
Competition is sought after and losing is not something that just happens. It’s something dreaded, despised and fought against with every bit of energy.
It’s not like that in the rest of the world, I guess.
There I was, watching a race, ironically named Primal, and I saw hardly any males exhibiting primal instincts. Primal instincts would make them want to assert themselves as alpha male by competing against any other male that would dare to challenge him.
Then and Now
Competition goes back to mankind’s days of hunting for food, starting tribes and claiming mates. It was natural to us. The biggest, baddest and most adaptable male passed his genes on to the next generation.
The weak and less adaptable died out.
Granted, with the evolution of man and the rise of a civilized culture, the very nature of how man competes against one another has changed. With the exception of organized sports, combat sports of course included, man’s competition lies within the quest for financial and economic status.
The guy with the biggest bank account and coolest toys commands the most attention and respect. Physical prowess isn’t as important anymore and that’s ok, I guess.
The problem I see today though isn’t so much with how men compete but that a growing amount of men aren’t competing anymore.
Women are undoubtedly becoming more powerful in all areas of life and I’m all for it. I’m married to a strong, powerful, independent woman and I love her for it. She keeps me in line when I go on my testosterone rants and keeps me from getting carried away with myself.
In fact, she’s going to be reading this before I post it to make sure that I’m not inadvertently offensive towards women in any way.
We’re partners and this seems to be a fleeting idea. Instead of men becoming partners with women as they’ve risen up and taken their place in power, they’ve instead decided to switch places with them and become submissive.
That Mean Man
TC Luoma, editor-in-chief at Testosterone Nation, wrote about this a little while back with much more detail and eloquence. He expressed his concerns in the changing roles of men and women and how the man with high testosterone is now seen as the primitive villain of our culture.
He goes on to talk about how high testosterone is a driving force for good in a man’s life. Without testosterone, men would have never had the ambition to create civilizations and cities would have never been built.
Ironically, TC laments, the civilizations that they built no longer have any place for them within their comfy walls.
The man with high testosterone is too crude, too willing to fight for what he wants, too aggressive, too desiring of a good challenge, too obstinate to live his life on his own terms for a society that teaches that we’re all special but ‘please be quiet and don’t disturb anyone else’.
Therein was the problem I observed at this so called adventure race.
These males have been told they were special no matter what they did and to just get along with everyone.
I would never claim to be the best competitor out there. To be honest, I just bombed out at a bench press national competition a couple of weeks back. Truth be told, I beat myself more than anything else. I let outside factors distract me and take my focus.
The popular response would be to tuck my tail between my legs and just be happy that I get the opportunity to experience such things and just throw my hands up in the air as if to say, “Oh well, I gave it my best and dammit I’m still so special regardless of what I did!”
I got pissed and I let it play over and over again my head for a while.
I lost, plain and simple.
So I got home and started completely reinventing the way I approach my training and started breaking myself down to build myself up stronger, both mentally and physically.
All this sound stupid? I don’t care. I still believe in competition.
Maybe it would be good for men if they remembered their primal instincts from time to time and stop letting women fight all the remaining battles.
Disagree with me and I’ll get my wife to beat you up.
Just kidding… Maybe. But I do want to hear your thoughts on this. How do you keep your competitive spirit alive? Let me know in the comments.
Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam.(Thanks toTim Ferriss and Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)