The game is sweet. A little crowded, but that can't be dealt with. One lame goal off my stick. Chillin' on the bench waiting for our next shift. We know the forwards to defend, and the defense to get past.
Then the teams get a shift.
A girl drops in after jumping her highschool class. All of a sudden the teams are a long ways from even anymore. She comes regularly. A friend of ours in this small town. Most of these two friendly teams are.
But we know she's good.
So the adrenaline kicks up. The game gets a little more seriously. Amazingly, we score two on our next shift. There goes our uneven argument. At least until we hit the ice again, and they score twice in those three minutes.
Some of us wear it like a badge of honour. "I play to win". It separates us from the indifferent. It makes us competitors. If we're bent on winning we can't be losers... can we? The competitors are the ones who come out on top. You can't be the best at anything if you don't care whether you are or not. There's just too much competition. That job, that medal, that award or the scholarship. You have to want it badly enough to beat the others.
So, we're athletes. We can out skate you. We can learn to snowboard in a day. We can throw past first base, run a mile a minute. Whatever. You wanna take us on? Bring it!
And others don't seem to really care. So what if they're not better then anyone? Does it really matter if they don't want go out and overexert themselves? Or are some of these people competitive too? So scared if losing, of looking bad, of failing, that they're not even willing to get out there and try.
Who doesn't like to be admired for whatever they're forte may be? And yeah, maybe Tommy couldn't make the captain of the football team. Or maybe Jane will never win Most Popular. Ok, so maybe they don't even try. But they might get the strongest grades in class. Or Program computers at a rate most of us can't even imagine.
I actually admire people who are willing to try something new. Even if they know they might look foolish. Might not actually love it. Might not stand a chance of being the best.
Still, it's a enigma. Competition. I haven't come to any conclusions as to why we feel it. I suppose it's an useful emotion when it drives us to our fullest. But, take it from me. It's not necessarily a positive feeling. That doesn't make me avoid it. To feel anything is something I love to do. To feel the elation of winning... C'mon. I used the word elation! And to take losing. Oh, I can definitely do it. I'm not that bad. But if it's a situation where I've truly felt competitive, I'm not gonna like it.
So... We regrouped. Got our strongest defense on their strongest players. Started planning how we were going to play. Sitting on the bench talking about how they interfere with our goalie. How their strongest player has such clear advantages such as a longer stick, extra height, whatever it is that is the reason they're catching up. Then just playing.
Don't worry. If you don't understand a little good clean competition, you just might be. Nobody got hurt. We could still all stand around and laugh together after the game. In this case, with this crowd, we didn't actually get overly worked up. Maybe that's why this week makes for a good safe example.
besides, this game ended with a nice clean 3 all.