The Spirit of Competition Provides

I’ve you’ve spent any amount of time at DEUCE Gym, I’m sure a couple things became clear right away based on feeling. One of those feelings is probably that competition isn’t a focal point.

Men and women in GPP aren’t putting out competitive vibes, and even in the seemingly more gnarly specialty courses the vibe isn’t competition oriented. The tag line after all is “Performance | Community | Lifestyle” not “Competition | Elite | If You Ain’t First You’re Last.” We like it that way, too.

Competition does happen around here, albeit formally in a sanctioned event or informally with in-class jockeying for reps. In fact, we’ve had students take part in formal examples of this at weekend throwdowns, weightlifting meets, running races, triathlons, and strongman competitions. Just this past weekend I had a blast playing cheerleader for Ronnie Lopez who jumped into his first ever weightlifting meet.

Watching him sign up last minute, deal with the external pressures of an athletic event, and having to execute was inspiring to say the least. Regardless of how much competition makes (or doesn’t make) up our culture, there are wonderful things to learn from what I’ll call the “Spirit of Competition.”

The Spirit of Competition can only be experienced “in the arena” as Theodore Roosevelt would say. This is only accessed by doing. No amount of time listening, watching, or thinking about the thing can replace your name getting called, walking out there, and being accountable to a performance, whatever it may be.

It’s with the Spirit of Competition that accountability is the highest, that learning happens fastest, and the subject is closest to truth. Competition teaches preparation and basic strategies to deal with failure. Few strategies are better at getting things done and deciding what the truth is than competition. Sadly, when kids don’t grow up with some of these lessons in team and individual sports they can struggle massively with feedback, failure, dealing with authority, and the harsh realities of life.

Now, I’m not saying that the gym culture should shift towards a competition mindset (also known as missing the point), but at the end of the day the harsh realities of the competitive environment are healthy exposures. Avoiding them all together would be as mistake. We all should find a handful of ways to stick our neck out there each year to feel the ruthless reality check of competition in some form.

As an added bonus, Ronnie signed up and jumped into a world he knew nothing about and took home third place. Great job, Ronnie!


Logan Gelbrich


5/11/16 WOD

Complete the following for time:


Hang Power Cleans & Jerks (135/95)

Box Jumps (30/24)



Then, complete 3 rounds for quality of:

20 Oblique DB Side Bends (Ea)

10 Glute Ham Raises