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Seriously, I do. I’m just not into competition. Like, at all. I try to avoid competitive events with others whenever I can, even “friendly” competition (is that a real thing? :)).

Putting tons of pressure on myself to perform? No, thanks. Doing better under pressure? Uhh, no way.

Last week in Florida my sister, Nicki, and I were doing an outdoor sprint workout. On our first pass, we both lined up where we were starting our sprints from and I said, “Do you want to go first or do you want me to?” Nicki replied back something along the lines of, “Let’s go together, it’ll make me go faster!”

HA. You want me to race?! Find someone else! We compromised. Alternating back and forth, I made her take a few steps before I would start or vice versa. I don’t care to find out who is faster. In no way would that have made my workout more effective, although for her it would have. Sorry, sis 🙂

The last gym I worked at had monthly fitness challenges. People ate it up. Personally, I hated it. I rarely participated in them, ha! I know it’s an essential part of life and growth to be pushed out of your comfort zone…but, I just like to do that on my own. Around a group of people watching? Nah. Having to write your score on the board for everyone to see? Get outta here.

I do best when I’m relaxed. When I’m calm, confident, and not worrying about what anyone else is doing. I competed in gymnastics and other sports for many years and I can’t remember loving competitions. I remember being nervous. Shaky. Major butterflies. Which, are not bad things at all. These are the kinds of feelings that often remind you you’re alive 😉

I’m extremely internally motivated. I’m driven to do things to challenge myself. Being challenged by others makes me retreat. Comparison against others makes me too much in my own head. Do your thing, I’ll do mine. Whatever you’re up to is cool, and whatever I’m doing to is great, too.

I think fitness, nutrition, and this “getting healthy” thing screams that extremely loudly oftentimes. Everything is a competition. Everything needs a prize. And, honestly, I get that. Tons of people love and thrive on external drivers, and that’s totally cool. But, for those of you who don’t love it, for those of you who competition makes you want to get the hell out, I’m right there with you.

Why does it matter how much someone else is working out, compared to how much you are? To judge yourself against that is completely irrelevant. It’s not a competition, it’s just not. Because your bestie worked out 6 times last week and you did 3, does not make them better at working out, more fit, or even more disciplined. Likewise, if you do 60-minute workouts and your partner does, say, 20-minute workouts it doesn’t mean you’re a better exerciser.

There was a time where I would judge myself and my worth as a trainer based on the number of workouts a week I did. If I only managed 2 strength training workouts a week, it wasn’t enough. I had failed in some way. If I did 5 workouts a week, I was good. That’s what trainers are supposed to do, right?  Love exercising hard every. damn. day. (Hint: a lot of us don’t.)

Sometimes I would question myself and why people would trust the advice of someone who “only” works out 3, sometimes 4, days per week? Pffft! Let me tell you, I’ve learned a lot over the last few years about myself and my clients. Working out 3 days a week is fantastic, for ME. It’s sustainable. It’s effortless. It achieves my goals and makes me feel strong, fit, athletic, pain-free, confident, and feminine. It was high time for me to stop judging myself based on how many workouts the other trainers around me were doing.

Anyone having a “who-can-relax-harder-after-a-30 minute-moderate-intensity-workout” challenge? Sign me up, please and thanks! But seriously, if it fires you up to compete against others, do that. If you don’t, you don’t have to in order to grow, progress, and experience results. Just do your thing. Trust your plan. Don’t get lost in what everyone else is doing.

JMG

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