April 09, 2016
Life is a competition
Competition has always been a huge part of my life. To say I am competitive is a huge understatement. I see almost everything as a competition and a competition that I must win. You may say it’s in my blood as when I look to my Dad and remember the games we used to play in my childhood, no matter what it was, it was a battle, we both wanted to win and wanted to win badly.
In reflection this competitiveness is applicable across every aspect of my life. My sales career at adidas was dominated by my desire to sell more, to be on the top of the leader board and to win. On the rugby field during my second season in Australia in 2004 I shared this competitiveness with the entire squad to a point that we sat down mid way through the season and agreed we were all ready to do “whatever it takes” to win premier rugby that year. Leaving the medical room 2 hours after the final whistle blew having had 3 litres of saline pumped into my body through intravenous drip I knew we had just done something very special in beating a team littered with past, current and future Wallabies and it was all down to our competitiveness.
Retiring from rugby after playing in the 2009 rugby world cup sevens I thought this competitiveness would subside, but it never does. 2010 paved way to another goal, a golf handicap of 10 by the end of the year. It was 9.8 in September, 4 months ahead of time. 2011 brought around a change in that it was my first year competing in CrossFit, a competition I wanted to of course win.
In the lead up to the 2013 regional where I placed 9th in Asia I took stock and realised I had to do something different, I had to take better care of my body, right the wrongs and make changes. I needed to move better in every sense of the word, I immediately contacted a movement specialist and planned to go to work as soon as regionals were over. We had goals, a lot of them but progress was slow, painfully slow, but there was a reason we were doing what we were doing.
Meanwhile, as I always try to do I was exposing myself to ideas, competitions, documentaries which see the human body and mind tested in so many ways. For me these kinds of situations are where most of my inspiration comes from. Do I have a bucket list and things I want to do before I die to test my body? No not at all! Surprised? That’s understandable. However my theory on this is simple in that I’m an addict, I’m addicted to competition, I am addicted to adrenaline. Often the competition is within myself, with my mind, that push to get the most out of my body, to see what my mind can cope with, to try and understand how far I can go.
On April 22nd I received a mail from a client titled “MDS”. We had talked about this before, I knew what was coming, his account of Marathon Des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth, a run across the Sahara desert of more than 250km. It took me a few days to read it as it was something important to me and I wanted to give it my full attention. His account was gripping and I immediately pre registered for 2015, it was something I had to do. I not only registered myself but I registered two friends un be known to them. A week later I received a mail back from one of them telling me that if we were to run the Sahara in 2015 we should warm up with a 300km run across Oman in Jan 2014. I replied in agreement.
And this is why I don’t have a bucket list, maybe it would tie me down too much! On September 11th 2013 I was invited to compete in Australia’s biggest CrossFit team event on a world class team. A team which boasted the 2013 CrossFit games female (fittest in the world) as well as 5th place from the same event. The third female in the team of 6 was a phenomenal athlete whilst the other two males were fast becoming known as real contenders in the sport of CrossFit. I accepted the offer.
Life is a competition, there are challenges all along the way. My movement training continues as although often slow the differences and improvements are insane and help me in so many parts of life. The coming 6 months is going to be epic and I am under no illusion that between Jan 2014 when we run across Oman and April 2015 when we take on the toughest footrace on earth that different challenges and competitions will arise.
Think about it, it may not all make sense to you but when you wake up daily and the words, amazing, change and smash life are the first things that come into your head, it’s an awful waste not to follow them through.