Thursday, August 05, 2010

Why Do We Suffer?

There is a time-honored tradition of athletes suffering! We seem to not only engage it, but embrace it. As athletes, are we predisposed to suffering? Is it something we MUST HAVE??? I read this interesting article by Athletic Camps, a coaching and training website, where they outline the difference between an athlete and a competitor. The blog totally nails it...
Probably the best example of a true competitor is former 7-11 rider, Hall of Fame member and my good friend, Harvey Nitz. He was unbelievable in that whenever he seemed like he was down and out, he could still find a way to win. Here was a guy that (self-admittedly) didn’t have the greatest talent in the world. But Harvey has an overwhelming desire to win bike races and because of that desire, will compete to the end of his days. Harvey not only lived and breathed tactics, but focused on how to get the most out of his “limited” abilities. Harvey’s desire to win gave him the capacity to think clearly and he did anything in his power to cross the line first (within the rules of course). He would suffer like no one else and dedicate all his efforts to be a winner. He once told me, amongst all his victories (and there were a lot of them), there were only two that didn’t cause him to suffer mercilessly. He worked for ALL of his victories. Harvey exemplified the notion that winning can become a habit, just like losing.
So it is an internal drive that we cannot stop. It is our competitive nature... Is that it?
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