Why a Competition?

April 16, 2012

I have been noticing more and more races, competitions and Events that are based on conquering or winning something in the outdoors. This is puzzling to me. I have never thought of Mom Nature as someone or something to beat or conquer. Personally, I have gotten so much out of embracing the outdoors, rather then attempting to beat it.

I think back to when I was a punk, and doing trips like a 3 week Back Pack into upper Canada. The goal was two-fold. One was to build and challenge my own outdoor skills, while experiencing things you just could not find or see unless you got that far from civilization and people. Even the personal challenge of obtaining new outdoor skills had nothing to do with beating the outdoors. It gave me the abilities to be able to experience an even wider range of outdoor experiences from there.

Yes…..to be the winner of the next Adventure Race, one will have to have many outdoor skills and be good at them. But what gets lost usually, is the experience itself. What I have learned about myself and the extreme joys I have experienced while deep in the outdoors is more important to me, then any of the skills I have mastered, yet alone putting those skills up against others to see who is better at it. Instead……I would like to learn the better skills from someone who has them.

There are a few competitions, based in the outdoors, that do have the right directions. They are there to bring awareness, or raise money while making it very clear that the experience there is the important thing, and not who wins. Trashing Nature in any way, for the benefit of the Competition, never is acceptable behaviour. It says exactly the wrong thing. That the Race is more important then the experience of the outdoors. This is a horrible example for our children as well. Winning has it’s place in our world, but I just have not found it when it comes to the natural world.

There is nothing to win in the outdoors. Just great life experiences. Knowledge obtained of ourselves while being there, and the beautify of what makes up life on our planet. These are just my observations and not my judgements of others. I only hope that the final outcome of any Outdoor Race is the outdoors and not the race.


One comment

  1. The interesting thing about that is, in many cases, the people that continue to try to beat Mother Nature get so caught up in the winning, they finally lose because Mother Nature will always win in the end. And, in many cases, its their life (or limbs). Definitely not worth it. I agree with you that we just need to focus on the beauty, enjoyment and learning about our beautiful natural world. It is spectacular!

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