competing to win.

August 16, 2005

August 15, 2005

This weekend was pretty busy….which ended with me getting tired, sick and sleepy. I was a guest judge at a pageant this weekend and it was interesting because instead of being the competitor on stage, I was now looking from a judge’s perspective what I really wanted to see in a winner.

The best advice I was given when I first started competing…and the advice I now give today, is to “be yourself.” I never understood why it was so important to be comfortable in your own skin and know who you were internally when I was younger…but I realize today exactly what that means. As a judge I can tell which girls are seasoned, which girls are prepared and which girls are confident and secure with who they are. And then I began wondering why we as judges, had a right to even ‘judge’ these girls on stage…I mean, who are we to tell people whether or not they are deserving to win, right?

In the end I realized, that I voted for the girls who were ‘themselves’. You can tell in the way they walked, the way they talked, the way they carried themselves: with poise, confidence and security. They weren’t overly polished, but they weren’t overly unprepared either. Most importantly, they weren’t puppets. The winner’s inner beauty shined from within her…and I can tell that she wasn’t distracted by the crowd, the lights or the competition: she was living in that moment when she found herself through the spirit of competition.

A friend once told me that she was going to participate in a beauty pageant for ‘the experience’ and that she didn’t want to necessarily win…and I asked her, “Why? Your REAL experience comes from your drive to win. The inner battles, the outward challenges, the integration of the body, mind and spirit through healthy competition are what helps you evolve, grow and understand yourself better.” Competition gets you focused. It makes you acknowledge your strengths and dissect your weaknesses. Challenges help you recognize yourself: all the good and bad parts that make you, uniquely you.

Recollecting on my personal history, I know that my early success in competing stemmed from my ability to stay focused on myself and not get distracted by the other competition: because once you start focusing on other things outside your control, you decrease the energy that could’ve been used more wisely on yourself. The goal to any Life Game is to stay focused on being yourself without overly using others as a measurement to where you stand.

One of the worst things people can do is compare themselves to others. I purposely where hats all the time not only because I don’t like people getting distracted by me, but I also don’t like getting distracted looking at them…because let’s face it…we’re all humans, we all have eyes, and we all compare. How else will we know where we are without some point of relation to other things? Right?

I recently published my first fitness article in “Audrey” magazine for their Aug/Sept Issue. Check it out. I detailed how to perform pushups effectively: one of my favorite exercises. I hope all of you have a good week…and don’t forget to live with gratitude.