Bitch on the Blog

June 10, 2014

On your starters – GO

Filed under: Gymnastics — bitchontheblog @ 07:02
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As mentioned many a time I am not a particularly competitive person.

Which is not to say that I don’t like winning. It’s just, and it is pathetic, that winning doesn’t mean much to me. Never has. I do something. So I do it. If someone else does it better good for them. If I do better [than you] please don’t throw a tantrum. It’s hardly my fault, is it? It’s no one’s fault.

Dear Readers, please do expand on the above. In your own ways. Without scrambling over each other. We’ll all get there in the end.

By way of comforting you I wish I could say that we won’t get there [in the end]. I can’t. As guarantees go this one is pretty much cast iron. No refunds given. Conclusion? Don’t give up. Neither do kill yourself in the process.






  1. I’m not competitive either, never have been. Team sports at school always alarmed me, I’d do my best to stand on the sidelines and ignore the proceedings altogether. Competition is meant to be a productive and creative principle, but when you look at car salesmen, politicians, estate agents and the like, I beg to differ. I think high personal aspirations are much more productive.

    Comment by nick — June 10, 2014 @ 09:34 | Reply

    • Can’t remember now, Nick, whether the cart came before the horse. Ie what inspired this post. I think it was some ludicrous howl of someone wanting to run a marathon to then whine about a knee injury. I ask you: How stupid is that? Who wants to run a marathon? Never mind. I once broke a wrist (not that long ago) on taking up roller skating again. Don”t bank on anyone’s sympathy. Even the taxi driver taking me to A&E laughed at my misfortune. Roller skating? Yeah, well. Whatever. I had it coming.

      As to ambition: There is ambition and there is ambition. Some people, and I don’t get it, will literally grit their teeth and trip you up to make it to the finishing line. How serious can winning be? Before you answer that I’ll put my foot into it first: Very serious. Very serious indeed. Oh, Nick, as I am writing this with memories flooding back, I am laughing at foolishness. Not just other people’s. My own too.

      One of the worst [memories] I can come up with – and I might have related this before – was playing chess with a friend of mine. We were in our late teens. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Keep an eye on your peasants. Put the towers to good use. Let the horses jump. Make sure the Queen doesn’t get sidetracked. And whatever you do ignore the King. My friend was a bloody maths genius. I only mention this because for some reason being good at maths and being good at chess apparently go hand in glove. Anyway, I won. She could NOT believe it. Neither could I. I put it down to beginner’s luck. Erring on the side of caution I never played chess with her again. VICTORY WAS MINE!


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 10, 2014 @ 10:12 | Reply

      • Run a marathon? I wanted to and then….wait for it….. injured my knee whilst “demonstraing” to my youngest how one might race against oneself …..i.e. being silly on the railway platform to keep him amused. It still amuses him 23 years later.
        But yes, I wanted to run a marathon and had done so since I was about 13 years old,

        When I used to teach Chess, better teacher than player by the way, I used to take reams to Chess Congresses. We always won the Rabbit’s prize. That’s the prize for having taken part and stuck it out only to come last. One day someone who was coacjing a kid called Nigel (Short) said that he thought that more games of chess were lost than were actually won….. i still debate that in my mind.

        Comment by magpie11 — June 10, 2014 @ 12:45 | Reply

  2. I’m very competitive but not – at least I think – to a fault. Unlike Nick, I was never alarmed by team sports – I used them to include what we loosely term the geeky kids these days and teach them a bit about the game/sport – they were already very competitive in the classroom – and being competitive on the playing field was simply an extension of that. Whether or not they embraced Nick’s high personal aspirations I cannot say – but 50 years after the fact they remain my friends and some of them have been quite successful in the business world. I suspect it was more than their high aspirations that guided them. Aspirations are goals. Competition is simply part of the journey to achieve those goals.

    I’m not really picking on Nick – I just disagree with his notion. But if that works for him, that’s fine. But I really doubt there’s be much progress in anything without the notion of competition. I agree it can be taken too far – car salesman and in fact almost any salesmen are in competition for your money. You are engaged in that competition whenever you are in the market to make a purchase. Think about it.

    I’m, sure everyone has an example similar to the one you cite U – I have been on both sides of that equation – both the underdog winner and the expected winner that loses. No big deal – it’s all part of the game of life. We need to learn to win and lose. Is not getting up and back into the “game/race” a competition with yourself?

    In my lifetime I’ve participated in both team sports and individual sports with varying degrees of success. There was always a desire to get just a bit better next time, whether I won or lost. That notion translated itself into the work environment as well. So I definitely fall into the compeetituion is good side of the equation – with the caveat that it needs to be tempered with good sense.

    Comment by shackman — June 10, 2014 @ 12:06 | Reply

    • So many team sports were a closed book to me… apart from Cricket which I learned very early on should be avoided in order to escape the danger from that hard ball hitting my face again. As I said, clsed books until I watched the girls from my class palying netball. Then it all clicked into place… territory…. it was all about territory. American Football has taken this concept to amazing heights. Well, I ended up having to take care of the school soccer team. They did not do very well. I have bnever palyed the game in my life. I then had this amazing idea. I got the netball teacher to get the boys paying netball against the girls. They started winning because they had learned that the game was all about territory and not just about chasing an inflated bladder around a patch of grass.

      For myself, Shackman, the aloneness of long distance running could not be beaten……

      Comment by magpie11 — June 10, 2014 @ 12:56 | Reply

      • Most distance runners I knew/know are somewhat solitary David. Personally, too many Xs in front of the L on my frame to do that – longest I ever ran was 3-5 miles when getting in shape for football. But I’d play racquetball until I could barely stand . I’m not sure what netball is but we had similar experiences with volleyball.

        Comment by shackman — June 10, 2014 @ 15:35 | Reply

        • Netball is a game played by girls with similar objectives to basketball. The point about it is that it’s territorail but peculiarly so in that players are actually designated certain areas for their position. It taught the boys the importance of territory in soccer and actually about close marking too.

          Comment by magpie11 — June 12, 2014 @ 13:16 | Reply

    • Interesting. Very. Many excellent points.

      On the whole I probably prefer one on one sports. Like tennis. Or its poor cousin – Badminton. Self reliant. Either you get it or you don’t. On the other hand I am, always have been, a team player. Volley ball being one of my favourites. “Ladies”, my sports teacher used to say, “fall out of your trousers.” This was in the changing room. One thing I so distinctly remember that I always preferred the position – a little bit back – to pass the ball to whoever i thought was the best positioned to get it into the net. No doubt a psychologist would have a field day.

      Most amusing of all, the Angel, possibly age 10 or so. Dear dog in heaven, Shackman, he was a sight if ever there was one. He had no interest in football whatsoever. But both his father and grandfather did. So he complied. Many a Saturday morning, usually with me in freezing attendance – not said father or grandfather – he’d spend at the club. Playing football. When on the main field – in whatever position – you could tell – Zero Interest. Yeah, keep the ball coming. Whatever. Bring it on. “Take your hands out of your pockets” his manager once shouted, “This is not a walk in the park!” A command met with indifference. Yet. And this is noteworthy, Shackman: When the coach put the Angel into goal (being on your own, held responsible if you let a ball through) he’d throw himself all over the place. Amazingly so. Now, THAT is what I call team spirit. A champion. Off his own back.

      You say we need to learn how to win and to lose. So very true. And not weep over it.

      Still love that picture of you – when you started your blog.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 10, 2014 @ 18:20 | Reply

      • Hmm – not sure which photo you mean U – refresh my memory./

        Comment by shackman — June 12, 2014 @ 12:18 | Reply

      • They put me in goal and omitted to tell methat I was allowed to catch the ball. After all it is called Football. I let infive goals and was soundly beaten up on the way home. Amazing how otften I forgot my boots after that. I did grow wonderful savoys onmy plot in the school garden though.

        Comment by magpie11 — June 12, 2014 @ 13:21 | Reply

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