Monday Bacon: Women ‘n Competition

I’m wondering when competition became a bad thing? I didn’t get the memo. See, competition has always been a big part of my life. I’ve played on softball teams; I’ve swam, both as an individual and on relay teams; I’ve dabbled in weightlifting; a bunch of stuff that I’m not even thinking of at the moment and have been hooping it up on the Highland Games fields. Most times I compete with, and against women, and sometimes I’m the only girl out there. Doesn’t matter. I compete to do my best.  I enjoy competition, I’ve encouraged it in my kids and even got a chance to watch the Oz man ramp up his competitive spirit in his first football game this past weekend. It was a blast.

But somewhere along the line, competition has become an unfriendly word and I don’t know why? We’ve taken it out of our children’s lives with the ‘Everybody Wins’ attitude and participation medals. On a side note, the “participation medal” has done more damage to the competitive spirit than any stupid youth coach could ever do. But that’s not my beef today. My beef today is the idea being passed around that women shouldn’t compete with each other…we should empower each other.


Why shouldn’t we compete? Is it because we’re incapable of doing so without turning into shrill bitches that no one wants to watch unless we wear sports bras and lululemon’s? The notion that women shouldn’t compete with, or against, each other is mind boggling to me.  See, the reason we compete against other women is cuz we can’t beat the boys. In most cases. Kristi Scott can’t beat Andy Vincent. Serena Williams can’t beat Rafa. Women at the top of their sport most likely can not beat men at the top of the same sport. So we have classes. See? Women’s Class and Men’s class. See? We compete against other women., that’s okay. We’ll all be ok.

It’s actually possible to enjoy competing against other women. Does it mean we hate each other? Uhhhhh, no. It means we all show up to compete. Cuz we’re competitors. Not a bad thing. Duh. Can I appreciate their skills and gifts and still have fun? Uhhhh, yes. Duh. I have competed against/with some amazing women this year alone. And I have wanted to beat many of them.  Ok, I’ve wanted to beat all of them but I’m also realistic and know in some cases it just wasn’t my time and in other cases COUGH**katie S**COUGH it’ll never happen, but mostly because I just wasn’t good enough. Heh.

But when I show up and have a chance to win? I play to win. The funny thing about that is that I also leave the field with new friends. And I’m not special. It happens all the time. Women competing against each other makes us better. Why do we PR at meets or events? Cuz we’re no longer practicing. We have a target and we also know that we have a target on OUR backs. That’s what’s fun YO! Here’s a great quote from Serena Williams about her upcoming US Open finals match against Victoria Azarenka…

We completely get along and once the match starts, we are completely opponents. 

Serena won by the way. Now, these chicks play for millions. Most of us don’t. If they can do it, can’t we? If you want to show up on the field and empower other women fine. I can do both but at the end of the day, I want to win.

Auto Racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports…all others are games.

Ernest Hemingway

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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