Compete - or get the f*ck out of my way

Editor's Note: This blog, one of our firsts, defines what and who wild/STRONG is. We are a brand that believes competition is where we learn about ourselves, become better people and learn what deficiences we have, both mentally and physically - then we attack those deficiences with abandon. We train, we compete and we become better. We don't make excuses. If you feel the same way, we want you in our tribe. If you don't, the headline is pretty clear, get the f*ck out of our way, we don't want you. We don't want you repping our brand, clothes or gear. Wearing the wild/STRONG logo on your chest or back means something - it means you don't give a shit what other people think about you or what rules they live their life by - because you are far too busy becoming better than they are...and you are willing to prove it. We have added a few points to the original post.We hope you enjoy it.

 Author (foreground) and teammates - 307 Throwdown 2015 - Casper, WY.

Author (foreground) and teammates - 307 Throwdown 2015 - Casper, WY.

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”

The ironic part about this famous line from Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club – is that only people who had actually been in a fight, appreciated how awesome that line truly was.

 Durden preached and lived a lifestyle based on the knowledge that you learn what you are truly capable of, through competition.

Durden preached and lived a lifestyle based on the knowledge that you learn what you are truly capable of, through competition.

Only someone who has tapped into that next level savagery -  fueled by the most insane adrenaline dump you’ve ever experienced, walked through a couple of flush punches to their face – or stood back up after absorbing a kick to the head - the feeling of invincibility when your opponent cannot continue – the pure primal joy of knowing you went head-to-head with someone else, and you bested them. Yeah, all of that.

So how can we feel those emotions on a regular basis…without ending up on the wrong side of ol' Johnny Law? We compete. Not just in combat sports – any competition fuels this desire to beat someone, to test our skills and abilities. I don’t care if you are an MMA fighter or a chess player, you should be competing. Only the weak view training as competition. The strong train FOR competition.

I’ve always enjoyed playing sports and the biggest reason I enjoyed this, was the competition. When I was 9 years old, I would get my baseball uniform on about 3 hours before we even had to leave for the field. The nervous energy drove me crazy even at that young age. One of the most vivid memories of my childhood, was the feeling of losing a playoff game in the late innings. I can remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach – that understanding that the season was over and we had lost – as if it happened yesterday. I was 10 years old – that was almost a quarter century ago. Even then I hated losing more than I loved winning.

I struggled to find an outlet for this competitive desire as an adult – until one day, I stumbled into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

 Author (top position) during first match of his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. This was just after he swept his opponent for two points to secure the win. Birmingham, AL circa 2006.

Author (top position) during first match of his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. This was just after he swept his opponent for two points to secure the win. Birmingham, AL circa 2006.

I was hooked…and “competing” against the guys in class was never enough. I could not sign up for enough competitions, local ones, out of state, it didn’t matter. I would sometimes have 10-12 matches in one day because I would enter as many divisions as I could.

 Author (right) and teammate, Dothan, AL circa 2010

Author (right) and teammate, Dothan, AL circa 2010

It kept me in shape, it provided a tribal community atmosphere and it fed my insane competitive streak. After about 7 years of BJJ, I decided to switch things up and try Crossfit. My biggest fear was that it would not adequately feed my drive for competition.

I was wrong - Crossfit feeds all the same hungers BJJ did. The amazing community, the fitness aspect and of course the competition. This year alone I have competed in an Olympic Weightlifting meet and at least 4 Crossfit events, whether team or individual. This sort of schedule gives your training a purpose.

 Crossfit feeds the same hungers as any other sport. It forces you to continually go beyond what your mind tells you that you can accomplish. Author, Casper, WY 2015

Crossfit feeds the same hungers as any other sport. It forces you to continually go beyond what your mind tells you that you can accomplish. Author, Casper, WY 2015

If you are one of those people who goes into the gym and views that as your competition – I feel sorry for you. You don’t know if the person you are matching up with is taking it easy today, training for an event and just lifted heavy – the list goes on. Yet you march in and put up a better score, or you submit him, or get him in check-mate (if you really do play chess instead of this other stuff) and view that as a “win” – Wrong, you lost. You lost because you don’t know what it truly is to compete. You lost because deep down you know you didn’t have to go to a dark place to get your “win”. You lost because you never experienced the feeling of looking into your opponent's eyes and seeing it happen – seeing the moment he begins to accept that he cannot keep up with you – the moment his desire to win is extinguished by a wave of exhaustion and acceptance of you as the better man. None of that happens in the gym - it happens on the field of battle. Your “win” is a soldier besting his child at a wooden sword fight in the moments before he departs for real war. Go hard in training, but remember training isn’t the goal.

 How do you know where you stack up if you never test yourself in competition? Author (in sunglasses), Cheyenne, WY circa 2015

How do you know where you stack up if you never test yourself in competition? Author (in sunglasses), Cheyenne, WY circa 2015

Competing is not for everyone – some people are weak losers who don’t want to know where they stand in any given activity. We need  weak losers around (I don’t know why, I literally couldn’t think of a single reason after I wrote that, but it sounded like something that made sense. Perhaps I’ll update later)

Author's Update: My brother answered this question for me and I decided to put his quote in here because it is 100% pure badass. "Weak losers exist for the kings of the world to stand on the backs of. To command, to be servile to us, in order for us to accomplish more. In other words, kings and warriors will rule and slaves shall serve."

 Author, Wyoming Open, 2015

Author, Wyoming Open, 2015

 

I surround myself with people who compete. I only have time and space in my life for people who can inspire me. If you can’t even test yourself against an opponent, how the fuck are you gonna inspire me to be a better version of myself? Start competing or get the fuck out of my way.