This isn’t really about competition but can easily be applied to competition. It is a skiing story and is about our writer SJ. In fact, he will tell it.
At the time I was living in Boston and a group of friends and I went up to New Hampshire to go skiing. Don’t ask what ski slope because I don’t remember at this point. In any case, it was Ron, Jeff and Jeff’s little brother who was a hotshot skier. Ron and Jeff were average skiers so they headed off together and I went with the younger brother. We will call him Tom since I can’t remember his name offhand.
Mogul Run 1
We went down a couple of slopes to get warmed up and then decided to hit a slope with moguls. Tom went down a ways and then stopped and waited for me. My heart was in my throat a bit but I wasn’t going to be deterred. I started down the hill and did OK briefly but quickly had problems and fell. Tom waited patiently as I skied and fell down the slope.
Mogul Run 2
We went up to do it again. Tom told me and I had heard other people tell me that you need to attack the mountain and lean into it. Leaning downhill can be scary. The natural thing to do is lean back. But that lifts the tips and you lose control and you tend to go faster. If you are leaning forward, you can carve your turns and control yourself and slow down. Well, the second mogul run was almost as bad as the first.
Mogul Run 3
Tom begged off and said he was going to go try some other runs. I went back up for a third time. I was absolutely determined to lick this hill. This time I absolutely attacked the hill. Most people have heard athlete’s talk about the Zone. Well, I had the privilege of experiencing it. Everything seemed to slow down and be super clear. I nailed the run, not falling once. What a feeling.
I then went in to meet everyone for lunch at the agreed time and place. We chatted and shared experiences but I didn’t say anything about my last run except I did better because I wanted to surprise Tom. After lunch I asked if he would do the mogul run again with me. You could see that he was not very excited but was polite and said yes.
Mogul Run 4
We got to the top and I told him to go first. He went down a bit and fell. As he was getting up, I blew past him, still in the Zone, and skiing like a bat out of hell. The look on his face was priceless.
Who are you competing with?
You might say I was competing with Tom, but not really, he was actually a better skier. I was competing with myself. Don’t focus on other people, focus on yourself and what you can do to get better. Only focus on other people to learn from them, not to grade yourself against them.