As I have stated before, I enjoy competing. I always felt as though it was directly linked to training. You always train better and more consistently when you have a competition to train for!
Good training is formative by design. It is purposed to make you better at what you are attempting to do. A coach, especially a good coach, knows your weaknesses and targets them; training you in such a way that you become stronger, faster, or generally better in those areas. It is more difficult to train well on your own as you are less aware of your weaknesses than others; you don’t have the technical skills to train and overcome those weaknesses; or you are not able to demand more of yourself to change for the better.
Performance is the important link in this self-perpetuating merry-go-round cycle. As you perform in competition motivates or de-motivates your training and your desire to compete. Winning can be just as detrimental to training as anything else, as you are often motivated to compete again for the glory, but not highly motivated to train and continue changing or being formed. Losing, on the other hand, often motivates you to train harder and undergo more formation as your glaring weaknesses become more apparent in the imposed vulnerability from defeat. Or you just quit altogether.
Sport is often a great and living example of life. It takes guts to compete. It is difficult to be formed by another person coaching you daily. The formation is painful and arduous as there is often the grind day after day with little apparent progress. Then there is the competition itself. Very often the first competitor to defeat or be defeated by is fear. The fear of loss or the fear of harm or the fear of disappointment and embarrassment sideline many would be competitors with defeat even before the race or event begins. In order to compete and perform in sport as well as life, fear must be faced and dealt with. A coach can sure help with that!
So, am I saying life is a competition or am I saying it is like a competition? The latter is the case. Many do mistake it for a competition seeking to defeat known and unknown adversaries daily as their life’s performance and judgement hangs in the balance. I can tell you that is no way to live. The opposite, though, is also true. To not live in the moment and take advantage of the few days we have is no real life either. The fullness of life rests on the intentionality to train and be trained in life, to be in community with others performing alongside as you compete against your weaknesses and to be transformed, oh, to be transformed, by life in Christ. This is fullness. This is counting your days and making them count.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
Jesus is the best Coach, ever!