I didn’t know I was competitive until I started exercising regularly and doing stand up more frequently. Growing up, my little sister always wanted to make mundane activities a competition: who can put on their seat belt the fastest, who could swing the highest, who could run the fastest…and I frankly didn’t care about winning so I usually let my sister win unless she pissed me off.
I got bit by the competition bug when I started going to spin classes in 2013. If a skinnier girl than me started adding gear, so did I. If a tiny waif started spinning harder than me, I picked up my pace. I wasn’t going to let them win a race they knew nothing about as I silently sweated next to them. Comedy became a competition within myself: how can I do better than I did last time I was on stage, how can I write more, and how can I get closer to hitting my goals.
The competitor side of me can also cause me to lose…a lot. I get so caught up in winning that I end up beating myself. I didn’t realize the hold it had on me until I started getting this on going tension headache. Amidst the pain, I was punishing myself for an injury putting me on the sideline of my comedy game. Recently being diagnosed with vertigo hasn’t helped either.
My sister and I went up to my parents to celebrate Christmas. It was very relaxing with watching football being the only competition. Frankly, I do not really enjoy watching football, but I appreciate the social aspect. The one game I was committed to watching was my sister’s Alma Mater vs. her ex-boyfriend’s university. It was a game that meant more than just guys pushing each other and running around…it felt bigger and almost as if my sister and her ex were on the field. To prepare for the match up, we assembled appetizers and finger foods to eat while we watch slabs of meat on a patch of grass.
I have written before about my sister and I’s bond with wings. My mom knew that wings would be perfect for the game. My mom loves Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. She has a few of her cookbooks and found a wing recipe she wanted to try for the football game.
I appreciate my mom making wings. They are not in her wheel house but she knew that my sister and I would enjoy them. These are not typically a style of wing I would enjoy but it was good and satisfied my spicy craving. They were like a spicy rotisserie chicken.
After we loaded up our plates with wings and snacks, we sit down to watch the game in our team apparel and start chanting and casting spells for my sister’s ex to be devastated and know what scum he is.
Well, actually, we just were cheerful and I pretended to know what was happening in the game. I had a glass of red wine and an adult coloring book to help. Even if I was not actively trying to figure out what a “down” is, I wanted my sister to know that she had me on her team and that I wanted to beat that clown’s stupid college.
It was sad that my sister’s team ended up not winning, it felt personal. But it wasn’t. It was a competition we put on ourselves. It was a reminder to me that, I am going to lose. I am going to suck, but I have to be grateful that I get to compete. I have to remember that not winning, only makes opportunities to win even sweeter and more meaningful. That football game or being sidelined does not mean failure, it means an opportunity to get better.