The down side of always winning

Seven days ago, I went to a Widespread Panic Concert in Raleigh and had a really good time. The next day, I drove back to the ’05 and drove the whole time while the wife rested. I wanted to drive, actually, which is very uncharacteristic of me. See, I had a rental and it had more flash than the car I currently owned.
Why did I have a rental? Good question. Over Labor Day weekend, a Mazda apparently backed into our car as it was parked in front of my best friend’s house. Or, at least that’s what the note said that was left on the passenger side windshield wiper. That was an annoyance. Another long drive where I didn’t want to drive the whole way, but only the wife could scootch over the console. See, the passenger door wouldn’t open.
So, the rental comes home. It’s a 2012 Charcoal Gray Nissan where I drive a 2005 Metallic Blue Buick. I love the Buick; I really do. The kids go crazy and want rides in it and ask questions like, “How come we can’t keep this car?” Wonderful. Not only am I a shallow consumer of goods, but my children are inheriting it as well. Long story, not so short, we returned the car yesterday to the rental company and will pick up the original today.
I guess what the entire episode has made me think about is the magnets you put on your car. The body shop technician said it could damage the paint. Really?!? Could they build these cars with a little more fortitude now? I have two magnets, actually. One is shaped like the University of Georgia “G” while the other one says “26.2”.
Over the years since 2004 when I ran my marathon in an average time, I have regarded those stickers as bragging about the race and saying, “See, look what I did?” I thought that since everyone who beat my time deserved more respect and I didn’t want to be seen as a guy that bragged about an average finish. It took my wife’s comment last night to really drive home a general problem I have: Competition.
Last night, she stated in a frustrated tone,”What now? Does everything have to be a competition?” I thought to myself, uh…yeah. The pursuit to win has driven my feet into the ground as I ran mile after mile in order to achieve a better time or farther distance; it made me play through aggravating and sometimes very painful injuries to get on the rugby pitch and help my team win, it has driven everyone crazy as I never seem to do it well enough.
The funny thing is that no one really puts any undue pressure on me to succeed. I already do my job well, and heck, I did run that marathon and I’m dang proud of it. So, when the rental car came home, I immediately placed the marathon magnet on it, even though it was temporary and I post tweets about my runs daily. The moral, here, is sort of vague. I guess I should strive to win in some endeavors, I.e. raising kids, doctoral scholarly work, and teaching. However, in those pursuits the rewards are not immediate, I.e. finishing a race, winning the game (whatever game). I just don’t wake up and realize I’ve lost the most important competition of all: enjoying my life.

, , , ,

%d bloggers like this: