Competition is great. It pushes people to succeed where they thought they couldn’t and asks us to do things we never thought we could. The sense of satisfaction can be worth the pain of training and preparing alone. It can be stressful and it can be uncomfortable, but in the end, if we succeed, it’s all worth it – right?
That all depends on your definition of success. Competitiveness gets a bad rap. It’s tied up with connotations of ruthlessness and selfishness and win-at-all-costs fury. But if you define success for yourself, then it becomes a far healthier motivation. And that’s when being tied up trying to beat someone else can give way to being the best you can be.
Comparing yourself to successes that aren’t strictly your own is also going to leave you short-changed when someone beats you. You can take a step back and congratulate them, knowing that your own success is not far away.
Likelihood is that there will always be someone quicker, faster or stronger than you are – and that’s ok, too. They are just going down a fitter path than yourself.
If being your own competition is something that doesn’t come naturally, then going it alone can be a great place to start. Finding something where you can focus on yourself is key.
It’s this reason why Virgin Active developed the Grid Games. A four-minute test not to your athletic ability, but a chance to challenge yourself to find your flaws and improve. Above all, it’s a change to prove that you are tougher than you think.
“Even if you're not doing it to compete against others, you can use it to test your own fitness and see where you're at,” says David Kelly, a Rock star instructor at Chiswick Park, “regardless of how many reps you get.”
This is a challenge that you can take on again and again, each time learning a little more about yourself. Not only of what you are capable of physically, but what you can change and except in your own thinking too.
Bend. Row. Squat. Lunge. Press.
Grid Games is a celebration of movement in its purest form. There is no element that is complicated or unusual, or that anyone won’t be able to attempt.
It takes the things we do every day, springing up stairs or leaping for a bus, and ups the ante a little. Find where you're at and you'll soon make the 281 to Hounslow.
The Grid Games is mostly about defining challenges for yourself. And you never know, the slightest improvement might win you a trip to South Africa to celebrate it.