I’m not competitive. I don’t feel the need to win nor do I hate losing. I like ‘taking part’.
I just can’t help myself.
I have to win!
But never do.
(‘Cause I’m not very good.)
Earlier this month I was taking part in a corporate bike ride. A cycle round Aberfoyle and Loch Katrine in the Trossachs. It’s a cracking route and it was a good crisp clear September day.
This wasn’t a race. Everyone taking part was separated into groups of 12 and each group rode as one with a ‘pro’ leading it to keep everyone together and safe.
It was a good set up and promised to be a good day when, after five miles, we started to climb the Dukes Pass – a steep sharp twisting climb of a mile and half. And the ‘pro’ said “Just go at your own pace”.
So I did. And it was faster than the group I was with, and faster than the group in front, and then my competitive instinct kicked in and I thought “I’ll be the first up this hill!”.
Except I wasn’t.
Because when your competitive instinct kicks in there’s also something else that happens: somebody else’s competitive instinct kicks in too! It’s contagious – and deadly. At least for me because, as I said, I’m not that good.
200 metres from the summit the first man passed me. 100 metres from the summit the second man passed me. I wasn’t first. I wasn’t second. I was third to the summit in a race that probably consisted of three men because everyone else, quite sensibly, was just enjoying the ride and going up at their own pace. I was therefore last to the summit.
But, later, first to the café stop. Now that’s a competition worth winning!