Mile Hike

I never thought that I would be able to say to my future children that I walked a mile in the rain, cold, and snow. And yet, I will be able to share that face and that I walked up hill both ways.

But this day wasn’t in the rain, cold, or snow… The walk simply consisted of me racing three people I had never met with the greatness of competition pushing us through the cold, leaves, and the intersections that said “Don’t Walk”. The three of us should of gone into a full out run at the speed we were walking. Our clothes flew in the air as the wind hit us.

The black-coated women kept passing the red backpacked man and I. But every moment that we got to an intersection he and I would get through with no scratches, to the other side of the cross walk, take a breath, and see the black-coated women creeping up on us.

Competition seemed to be reining us all into a race that wasn’t even there. The three of us strived “to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same,” (Apple Dictionary).

In some manner, without an original goal, we all were competing for the same goal during the entire mile hike. I started questioning the reasoning and purpose behind this and finally asked myself a question. “What is good competition?”

Everyplace has competition from your work force, school, sports team, and family. There seems to be a goal for every individual to be superior even if it is superior at failing. The problem is when we take the competition to a different level that involves risk and devastation.

Risk and devastation keep us as competing individuals on our toes but at the same time we need to be wise with how we handle circumstances. One reason that I didn’t take a job at Booz Allen was for the mere reason that I felt a high level of risk and competition. It seemed that the only way to go up in the company was if the individual in the cubical next to you failed.

I did not go to work at Booz so I have only my own perception, not what might be truly happening but needless to say, there are thousands of companies that use this idea of risk and competition as their force behind getting good work. Is that qualified as good business? Is the mile hike that I took a wise use of my energy for a competition that was unsaid?

The point that I received from this little speed walk laid the foundation of my understanding concerning competition. If I am willing to walk quickly down the side walk to win the race against the black-coated women, I will want to watch out that I don’t do the same for my fellow team members.

I may not be the most competitive individual when it comes to these things but my nature made me competitive in this moment, and losing wasn’t my end goal though it did occor.

About Nathaniel Elliott

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