I never considered myself particularly competitive. Sure, I’ve cheated at the occasional game of Slap (the card game, not the physical act of violence) and Scrabble with the intention of racking up a few more points, but I’ve never terribly minded losing. In a family of mental geniuses and accomplished athletes, I proudly carry the torch for the math-challenged junior varsity team of people under 5’4″. It’s a small team, in number and in stature. I will happily compete with myself, delighting in new running or cheese doodle-eating records. When other people enter the fray, however, I am not quite so eager to engage.
There are a few things I do rather well, like cutting things out of paper, not sleeping, reading French newspapers and literature (in French– that’s sort of the distinguishing factor), and listening to people’s problems. The thing is, it’s nearly impossible to be competitive in any of these areas, since no one else seems interested in competing. On the rare occasion that I do find myself going tête à tête, I pull the greatest non-competitive competitor move of all time: I bow out. It’s sort of like agreeing to disagree. Trust me. Nothing frustrates a competitive person more than winning by forfeit.
I don’t like the idea that someone has to lose in order for someone else to win.
Welp. That all changed on Wednesday evening, at approximately 6:45 PM, Eastern Time, as I charged down (or up? I am not sure which way was North) the soccer field like a bat out of hell. Elizabeast was in full force. I wanted to get a goal, and I wanted to get a goal badly. After repeated shots on net, and one off the goal post, and still no goal… I realized it was time to sub out and let my teammates on the sidelines get some playing time in. So, I did what any bad person would do, and avoided making eye contact. Mission Stay on the Field: Successful. Mission Get a Goal: Not as Successful.
I did not get my much desired ball-in-net. I did, however, get slapped (this time, the physical– although completely unintentional– act of violence, not the card game) in the face. It was, well, different and unexpected. I was being guarded by a rather tall and muscular man who, during an attempt to beat me to the ball, flew through the air with flailing arms, managing to backhand me clear across the mouth. I fell over, mostly in disbelief, and slightly in pain. I totally got served. Just as I pulled myself together and stole the ball back, I was called off the field for a long-overdue substitution.
When the ref tooted the final whistle, I wanted more: more time on the clock, more chances to score, more sprinting to the ball like a woman possessed. But less getting slapped. I think I’ve caught the competitive spirit. And like this cold I’ve been battling for over a week, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Run 9 miles (I sort of wish I was kidding)
- Boston Local Food Festival
- Reading, lazing, sleeping, and hydrating
- GO BC! BEAT NOTRE LAME!
Do you consider yourself competitive? What’s your favorite type of challenge? Have you ever been in duel?