Why does winning matter, anyway?

I’m in a philosophical mood this morning. Chatting with a friend about my goals in this sport (happy to share them: WNBF Pro), and sharing photos of current female WNBF Pros who inspire me, I realised that I’ve set myself a really very difficult challenge.

Why have I bothered? Why did I let the idea in, and why do I continue to pursue it? Why not just compete for fun? Why compete at all?

Being competitive is a blessing, and a curse. It’s helped me thrive in business, and succeed in most challenges I set myself. But being highly competitive, single-minded, with tunnel vision and “laser-beam focus”, is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth.

It pushes you outside your comfort zone and doesn’t make for particularly easy living. So why can’t we just settle?

(I’m sure my family and friends wouldn’t mind if I didn’t compete. And, whilst it does help that I “walk the talk” as a copywriter for the fitness industry, I’m sure my clients would be fine if I was “just” someone who trained hard.)

Because – like many of you – I’m like a dog with a bone. Give me an idea, and I’ll either reject it immediately, or obsess over it. When I’ve got a goal, my mind sees it in vibrant technicolour, and turns grey towards everything else.

Sometimes, I wish I’d never heard of this sport, never started, never had the seed sown. I’m just being honest! Most of the time, I love it, and I definitely think the plus points outweigh the negatives. It’s true that you can’t “unknow” what you learn about nutrition, diet and fat loss during bodybuilding prep, but – on balance – I’m glad I know it. That’s probably a different philosophical discussion for another time though!

So, why does winning matter, anyway? Why do our goals – whether that’s a World Record lift, a competition win, a particular title, or Pro Status – matter so much to those of us blessed/cursed with the ultimate of type-A personality?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And here’s the photo, stuck to my kitchen cupboards, which both excites and terrifies me every day. It’s last year’s Pro Heavyweight FBB line up at the WNBF Worlds.

Why does winning matter, anyway? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

4 Responses to Why does winning matter, anyway?

  1. Oh, Nic, I hear you! I so nearly didn’t become a competitive rower, and often wonder how much less stressful my life would be without it. I wouldn’t ever cry in the loos over a loss, wouldn’t have hands covered in callouses, would never again have to step on the dreaded erg. Yet without competing I also wouldn’t have that incredible bond with my team mates, wouldn’t have travelled to other towns (or to Belgium) to compete, wouldn’t have the amazing high that comes from racing well, and wouldn’t have something that takes my mind off the real stresses of life. I think I made the right call. Most of the time.


  2. Tara says:

    Oh god, this is me to a T! Other people don’t get why I invest so much time in competing but I can’t really explain it. I think about competing all day, every day – it’s totally life-consuming. I am so scared for my next comp because it’s the first one I know I’m definitely going to get thrashed in. It’s not good for my competitive personality!


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