Whether is chess, gymnastics, or running. Whichever the fields we compete are the constant is that there will always be a winner.
And we strive to be that winner. We seek to improve ourselves while and through training, practice for hours to obtain endurance, apply the knowledge we gather from coaches, teammates, publications and latest technologies, discuss mistakes at the end of a tournament, and so on.
The journey is always good: we see new faces every time, we make friends with those other familiar faces that are at our same level; and in the process we learn from them. We also appreciate their family support (or lack of), get to meet the junior players that are a sensation and will soon be challenging the top players, notice some of the senior athletes have become coaches, and overall realize that we make an interesting bunch.
During the competition we become fierce rivals and do the best we possibly can to defeat our opponents, whoever they happen to be. Once it is over, we all once again become part of the same group, the same family.
And in each and every new tournament, new season, new race; consciously or not, we face again and again the person we want to defeat all of the time: ourselves.
We want to be better than last time: be faster, play stronger, jump higher. Our only mission turns out to be to outperform ourselves. The results against the rest matter little, and if by any chance it is us instead of them who gets a trophy while in the process of beating ourselves, that’s nice; but the goal is to defeat our old marks and times, to make more points, to result undefeated; to be better than our own self just yesterday.
It is necessary to add two more words to “mission accomplished”: for now.
Are you ready to be better? Next competition starts right now. Ladies and gentleman, start your engines!