If you haven't gleaned this information from my previous posts I am fiercely, and perhaps overly, competitive. I love to win, anything. Board games, debates, athletic events, anything I can win I try to and want to. Even with The Kids. We'll often "race" to get something done, "I bet I can get the blinds open before you get yours open!" When The Kids tell me they beat me all I do is smile because they don't realize that I'm the winner in that situation!
After the USA tie last Friday I took the kids to the park to play my favorite soccer game, world cup. Each team, or in our case child, picks a country to represent, the goalie kicks the ball in play and then each team has to try to score a goal, as you are shooting you have to yell out the name of your country for your goal to count. Once you score you advance to the next round and the team who doesn't score is out. Eventually there are only two "countries" left and the one who scores wins the "world cup." I, of course, was the USA (though at most of my soccer camps I was Djibouti for obvious booty-shouting reasons). I was running towards the goal and The British Boy was trying to steal the ball, now I won't tell you exactly what I said to him (in a good natured way I promise) but it did have something to do with the Revolutionary War. I'm also fairly certain he had no idea what the Revolutionary War was. Wednesday night I was out for a couple beers with some friends and a British friend of theirs came over to talk to them and introduce himself. The conversation turned to soccer and then to a British/American showdown of who was a better country. The result? I actually recited the preamble to the Constitution (which is sort of impressive after a beer don't you think?).
I wasn't always like this though, it was more of a gradual slope into my competitive nature. As a child I was about as competitive as a doorknob. I played soccer throughout my childhood and I remember playing for a team at the YMCA. My best friend and I always requested to play the last two defenders for two reasons: they stood next to each other so we could chat throughout the games, and the boy we both liked (which, at the time seemed really lucky) played goalie so we could also spend our games chatting with him. Our coach soon figured it out and alas our trifecta of laziness was over. Sure I liked to win but I wasn't heartbroken after our inevitable and eventual loss. As long as I got a juicebox and some orange slices after the game I was pretty happy.
As the years went by I learned how nice it was to win, and how nice it was to be on a team where the minimum requirement wasn't just to have legs. I started playing on teams with tryouts and on school teams where you had to posses at least a bit of athletic prowess. But after my freshman year of college my competitive/borderline maniacal tendencies began to develop. Sophomore year during the start of fall-ball (lacrosse practice in the fall) one of my teammates nicknamed me "Tenacious J" (did not help me get more playing time during lacrosse games though!). And from that point on I was pretty much hooked on winning. I'm working on losing with grace, but that's much harder to come by.
Maybe I should re-learn the Gettysburg Address (memorized in grade 3 or 4 for fun) to recite on Saturday.