You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life-
While cleaning the garage this past weekend, I came across a handful of Enduro – Mountain Bike race medals and tattered bibs from the nearly 4 years I spent living in the United Kingdom. I was preparing to pitch them in the bin outside when curiosity overcame me, I sat down on the warm west-facing front porch and started to look through them. On these worn and faded relics, I found a record of a life that seemed so impossibly exciting to me that I could hardly believe it had once been mine.
With my Son carelessly riding his bike with some neighborhood mates, I sat there, coffee in hand and reminisced about my life competing in England. When I meet fellow cyclist at a local coffee shop early on a Sunday morning, a recent swap meet or my favourite MTB trail head, they invariably inquire why I don’t compete at the same level now. The “thing” is, during nearly all of my years there, my heart longed to be somewhere else. It seems incredible when I think about it now, watching my Son creating long fluid skid marks in the road, when I’m holding objects such as this Thetford Forest MTB Racing Series podium medal, serves only to remind me of the seemingly rare and blessed glimpse of my days spent there.
I tossed the medals and bibs in the trash bin and placed my stained streaked coffee mug on top, sealing the contents inside. Hooked our now warm and cozy beagle up to his leash, grabbed a sweatshirt from inside the garage door, and proceed to tear up the now quiet neighborhood with my Son.
Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t-
Watching a cycling (running – whatever) event affords both participants and spectators alike, an intense experience of competition, and if we pay close enough attention – An unfettered obsession with winning. Many hard-working, competing riders define success as a podium finish and anything else as an utter failure.
How do we address competition and competing in a different way?
Opening up and pouring my spirit before you … Winning is an outcome. When I become obsessed with the outcome, rather than the moment – I lose sight of the journey, I lose sight of my true spirit and how I arrived in this magical moment. I lose appreciation of simply being and my sole focus on is on me … And sometimes, I don’t enjoy this side of “me“.
Our culture is obsessed with winning, often at any cost and by any means. Once we have tasted winning, we need more of it – Winning is an addiction. The alluring pleasure, the rush of winning is fleeting, unlike the deep-rooted satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best. Winning makes people focus outside themselves for validation of their self-worth.
My past obsession with competition and winning, restrained me from engaging in a personal journey of self-knowledge and finding my place in life. This journey is entirely an internal and personal process, not one that requires a podium finish or constant competition with others as a measure of my true self-worth.