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Are We Too Competitive?

Are we too competitive?Are you a little competitive? Would you consider yourself a RAGING MANIAC when it comes to a good competition? Welcome to Competitors Anonymous. You are competitive if you compe...

Are we too competitive?

Are you a little competitive? Would you consider yourself a RAGING MANIAC when it comes to a good competition? Welcome to Competitors Anonymous.

You are competitive if you compete as you drive on the freeway--you know, you pick a car in front of you and pretend it is the Indy 500. You are competitive if you believe that the rule in driving is simply to catch up to the car in front of you!

You know you are a raging maniac when you find yourself trying to take down your eight-year old in a game of GUESSTURES. We have family game night at my house once a week and my husband has actually banned me from playing for a month because of what he called, EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION.

Okay so maybe I shouldn't have pushed her so hard when my team got the word, "HUDDLE!" I get a little out of control when I play games. But it's all in fun, right?

They say men are typically more competitive than women, but I think we just compete differently.

Last weekend I entered a Tae Kwon Do sparring competition--well, a friend of mine had signed up and when she became ill, she asked if I would take her spot so she wouldn't lose the registration money. What's a friend to do? I couldn't see her lose forty dollars!

I thought, “How hard could this be?” I had been taking lessons for a couple years and enjoyed the exercise in the sparring matches. It would be fun! one told me that they are out for blood in these competitions!

As I sat stretching before my match I watched this young “man boy,” maybe eighteen or twenty, throwing punches and kicking to warm up and he looked MAD! He looked over to his opponent and said under his breath, "Prepare to die!"

DIE? What was he talking like this's just a friendly game right? Wasn't this all about exercise and FUN? I wanted to go out there and spank him or at least put him in time out for poor sportsmanship, but thought they might throw me out.

I leaned over to a woman sitting next to me and whispered, "Who is he? Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride? Here to avenge his father's death? My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die!" She started laughing and said she loved that movie. We were like the old Siskel and Ebert duo. Chatting about movies.

I was in the middle of telling her that I had watched The Princess Bride at least 50 times, when all of a sudden, my coach pulled me back and said, "She is not your friend! She is the enemy! That is who you will be fighting in a few minutes!"

Enemy?! What is everyone talking crazy for? This is just for FUN!

And at that moment, the young man boy threw a kick to his opponent’s head and it landed right on his nose! Blood was spurting out everywhere and by the sound of it, it was broken for sure.

Oh my goodness, what did I sign up for? Was this some secret underground fight club and only one person was supposed to come out alive? Did my husband secretly arrange for me to be here when he was out of town to teach me a lesson? I'm not that competitive!

I started praying. Please don't let me bleed too much. I just got this uniform and blood is so hard to get out. Lord I will be nice when we play card games at home from now on!

I looked over at my secret movie pal, Siskel, now with fear in my face. Luckily she had the same look in her eyes.

Fortunately for both of us, there is a lot less rage, stamina, and oxygen for that matter, in the over forty women's division.

We both went out to the middle. We shook hands and bowed. When they said "Sijak" which means "begin" in Korean, but always reminds me of Pat Sajak and makes me want to buy a vowel, we began.

Punch, kick, punch...huff, puff, huff puff. Kick kick kick. Whew, huff, puff. I don't know what it looked like from the side, but it definitely didn't feel like the ultimate fighting match we had just seen before us.

All of a sudden, Siskel threw a pretty solid punch at my chest, and then she immediately said, "Oh, sorry!"

I busted up. I laughed at the thought of us, two ladies who should be exchanging movie reviews and recipes for desserts, out here punching and kicking each other and then apologizing for it. I laughed so hard, my mouthpiece came flying out onto the mat and then she started laughing. She said at least it wasn't my teeth! I got a side cramp. They had to call time so we could compose ourselves.

We finished three rounds and the score was 8 points to 4. I took home a gold medal and realized it WAS FUN!

I only wish I had video taped the match so perhaps my husband would lift the ban on my playing in game night!

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© Gina Schreck is the “Cheerman of the Bored” and she helps people Reconnect with What Matters Most! She is the author of several books, including Inside Out Success: Reconnecting with What Matters Most, and Marriage Mechanics: A Tune Up for the Highway of Love! She speaks to organizations that want to improve relationships from the inside out. To contact Gina, call 303-978-0887 or check out her website at

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