There are a lot of people in my squadron who don't like running, so sometimes for PT, we switch things up a bit. Yesterday, we played football. I'm not really big into contact sports, so I just did my best to look like I was participating while running up and down the field. (I touched the ball four times!) I was surprised at how upset some people got when things didn't go their way.
I've never really been a competitive person. When I was younger, the kids in my neighbourhood would play kickball in the street. It was always Chris, my older brother, and his friend Sean versus me and all my friends. No matter how many friends I had on my team, Chris and Sean would always win. And just to add insult to injury, Chris or Sean would always moonwalk from third plate to home base. Perhaps this contributed to making me so thick-skinned when it comes to sports.
I think this is why I enjoy running so much. The only person I'm competing against is myself. Yeah, there might be other people out there running, too, but I'm not focused on them. I like the camaraderie of running with someone, and congratulating them when they achieve a personal best. I don't feel like I have to cross the finish line before anyone, as long as I cross it.
The only time I can remember getting upset about losing was when Meredith, my last girlfriend, and I would play miniature golf. She would always win by a stroke or two, and I would see red; but I'd get over it real quick. It's possible to bring out the competitive nature in me, but it's not easy. The only person who's been able to do this lately is Johnny, who refuses to let me forget his body fat percentage is lower than mine.
Another perspective is that I'm just being self-defeatist. Maybe I'm just so afraid of losing, that I don't bother with competing at all. This really wouldn't bother me if all it had to do with is sports. I mean, nobody can win every time, right? But sometimes I worry that this attitude also applies to my personal and professional life. Am I just so afraid of failure that I don't even try to achieve goals or get promoted or study harder? Am I pretending not to care? It's definitely easier, but is it better?