Facing Competition | Teen Ink

Facing Competition

April 15, 2018
By Anonymous

As I stepped onto the track I instantly felt butterflies in my stomach. All the competitors around me looked tougher, stronger, and faster. The pressure and nerves were building up inside, and when I saw the crowd around me I froze. All of my team’s attention was on me. The next sixty seconds of my life would determine how I would be perceived as an athlete. I had to think of the positives, and how much training I had put in. At the same time, I knew everyone around me had worked just as hard. Then, I took a deep breath, got into my stance and waited for the moment I had been waiting for. In this instance, I was about to experience the highest level of competition I had ever faced.  I wondered to myself,  how could I possibly have made it this far?
Competition plays an enormous role in my everyday life, especially in track. Although competition may sometimes be viewed negatively by some, it can also have a positive impact on a person. For instance, in track not only do athletes compete against other teams, but they compete against themselves. Everyday I compete against myself to get better. To see how hard I can possibly push myself, and to try to exceed my limits.
At this defining moment I was about to run at the Indoor New Balance Nationals. Since I was was running in a relay my teammates had to rely on my to do well. If I did not run to the best of my ability, it would affect everyone else.
Along with competing at track meets, I compete against my teammates to be the better athlete. The desire to be superior to the group is what makes everyone stronger. However, in some situations competition between teammates also leads to jealousy and bitterness. A person’s self esteem can be lowered based on where the place themselves in the ranking amongst their teammates.
When I saw my teammate running around the corner I started to prepare myself. As the moment continued I was ready and started moving forward in preparation to receive the baton. Then all of the sudden, it was in my hand and I was sprinting with all of the determination and speed I had.
While competing against my teammates on the track, all the female sprinters battled for a spot on the relay team. During the beginning of the season I was able to have that opportunity, however as the season progressed and the competition increased, I was no longer on the relay. However, even though I was hurt inside, it only pushed me to work harder and gain my spot back. Additionally, my teammates were grateful for me for being on the relay during the first few months, so they had always considered me as one of the relay members. This helped me remain determined, but I was not completely satisfied. I still wanted to compete with them, so I only worked harder and tried to go that extra mile.
Running this race was when I had the chance to prove myself again, so I needed to leave it all out on the track. I had to push myself beyond my limits, and as I took my first few steps that's all that was on my mind. How far could I push myself? As I continued to run, my mind cleared. My only thought was how I was going to finish this race, and persevere through the pain.
Moving forward, competition can lead to long-lasting rewarding results. When you cross the finish line knowing you have beat your rival and did your best, it is the best feeling in the world. The instant sense of accomplishment can be a significant confidence booster. It makes a person feel as all if their hard work had paid off, and that everyday of pushing themselves to the max was worth it. On the other hand, the negative aspect of competition comes into play during a race when the athletes around you pass by your side. This can either motivate a person to push harder or give up and accept defeat. 
As I ran the final turn and handed my teammate the baton, I knew all of my hard work had paid off. I was grateful for the opportunity I had of joining the relay team once again. Although, we did not win the race, we still had the pride and joy of making it this far. We were all so proud of each other. I had never imagined running at nationals, and it was definitely a life-changing moment that I will never forget.

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