Monday, April 14, 2008

The Spirit of Competition

During an Arizona Basketball game when I was 12, my brother managed to convince me that sports were stupid. I cannot fathom how he did this, because I am obsessed with sports, namely UA sports. But nevertheless, he persuaded me that sports were all just a waste of time, that they had no real purpose. I'll just chalk that one up to being impressionable. In the end, he ended up just making me see how amazing competition really is.

Whether it is writing, painting, business, education, or even cooking, competition is everywhere, in everything we do. The arena of sports is just the most obvious, and the most clear-cut between success and failure. The mere idea that teams can spend thousands of hours preparing and training, only to have an entire game or season come down to one play or one shot is remarkable, and captivating. One lucky moment can be the difference between euphoric victory and gut-wrenching defeat.

It pervades into every aspect of our lives, and is what drives us. The opportunity to be better. To be the best at something. It is why we go to school for years, why we practice for hours on end, and why so many parents who have never tasted victory try to attain it through their kids. Competition measures not by whether you think you are worthy, or by reputation, but simply merit. And that is why it is beautiful.

"On this path, it is only the first step that counts."
St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney

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