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Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Does it Mean Without Competitors?

I was thinking today about winning (as I do often because in sport winning can often consume you) and then that got me thinking about our past win at worlds specifically. I have, until now, defined that win as being sweet because of the hurdles overcome to get there. There's quotes all over the place of how things mean more when one has struggled to accomplish them, or how nothing is worth pursuing if it's easy and all that sort of stuff. However, for some reason today it struck me that that win was also sweet because of who we raced. If we had rowed down that course in a time of eight minutes plus (which is a terrible time for a lightweight double) on our own, what would that have meant? But we rowed down that course over eight minutes and beat five other doubles that went eight minutes plus more and it was exhilarating. What I'm trying to express here is that accomplishment is often measured off of what others do. We need to give more credit to the performance of our competitors because without them there we can not have the amazing moments that we experience in sport. The Greek double was last year's world champions, the Germans had an Olympic silver medalist in the boat. I'm not reflecting on these facts to brag, I'm trying to say that their amazing accomplishments of time's past are what allow me to feel proud and excited about what we have done and in that there is a cyclical passing on of success and achievement. The delivery of our absolute best (regardless of winning or losing) is what allows others to shine and feel accomplished. Our competitors' presence is not only necessary to have an event take place, but it is required in order to measure our own achievement. So know that no matter what your own outcome or placement, if you have pushed to the point of what you're capable of, you are as much a part of the earning of the gold medal as those that actually won it. Good thing we can all always train harder!

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