My idea of winning is different to yours.

I’ve got a problem with people who think I am uncompetitive. I am. In fact I am very competitive. I hate losing. But what I’ve faced my entire life is other people thinking that because I am not a pro at what I do, that I don’t want to win.

When I was in high school, I was in the B side of the netball team. Sometimes, I got pushed down to reserve for the B team because there were other girls who played better than me. At least I got to play.

When I left high school, I tried my hand at action cricket. I was dropped off the team because I couldn’t hit the ball. I guess that’s important, right?

A few years later, I played action netball with a group of friends. The team eventually asked me to leave because we weren’t winning our games and it was my fault. They refused to continue playing unless I left the team. (keywords: team & friends). I gracefully walked away even though it hurt me big time.

Lately at gym, when I am training with my personal trainer, she will often give me lighter weights than I (think) I am capable of lifting. In addition, she tells me to do all my push-ups on my knees. I feel like a real girl.

Just the other day, someone was telling me that on their very first run, they ran 6 minutes per km and questioned me about my running and if I was working my pacing out right. Seriously? After 4 years of running?

I’ve pretty much gone through my whole life being judged by other people who decide that I am not strong enough, fast enough, or good enough. Do they realise that I am giving it my best shot? Why is it that others presume that because I am not winning any games or races or running as fast as them that I am not wanting to win?

Maybe competing and winning means something completely different to me. Like not quitting when others don’t give me a chance?

My left foot

I’ve recently been part of a team interviewing potential candidates for a position in the department. Scanning through CV’s and watching how different people use different skills to ‘sell’ themselves has been quite interesting to observe.

Some people pride themselves on their qualifications. Others attempt to impress with future plans of obtaining MBAs. But then there are those that have caught my attention just because they are so down to earth and ‘real’ that its easy to see how they have gotten to where they have, simply by having the right attitude.

I know everyone has heard the lessons about having the right attitude. But it’s when I came across some old photographs of my High School netball courts that some valuable lessons were remembered.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly the strongest or best player in the team. I think for the majority of my high school years, I was the reserve for the B-side! But hey, I never gave up. I landed up playing quite a few games and that’s all that mattered.

We once played an away game at another school and I went with as reserve and landed up being asked to play. When we were changing in the locker rooms, I realised that although I had packed in my takkies, I had accidentally packed in two left shoes (yes, I had two pairs of takkies that looked similar).

My heart sank!

There was no going back and I had to play. The only person I told was my best friend and she giggled herself silly throughout the game as I ran around trying not to look like a total spaz with my two left feet. Nobody noticed (or if they did, no one said anything) and we went on to win the match.

In my humble opinion, sometimes the degrees and certificates you have are great. But often, it’s your attitude that determines how you approach life and see the world. It’s your attitude that makes you a winner.