Sooo true! Competition creates winners and losers: the winners gloat the losers sulk. You can enjoy skiing totally without competition but if you want to ride the gloat ‘n sulk cycle try ski racing. I’ve seen skiers break poles over their thighs after a bad run, hurl obscenities at the skies and curse the snow they stand on - all for their love of ski racing. Of course the winners get to gloat with the I’m so much better than you mantra and the losers can expiate their loserness by buying beer for the gloater. Or like Kipling advises “You can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”. Except I’ve never seen anyone who can do this: winning feels great. Losing sucks rocks. And that is why I no longer ski race.

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Aug 6, 2022Liked by Stuart Winchester

Unbelievably relatable article. Great article to send to those who don't understand why some people do sports but don't join any teams. I've definitely had folks in my life confused by my major love of skiing and complete unwillingness to join a ski team. Skiing is primarily about freedom and adventure to me. Being on a ski team where I'm lapping the same run over and over again trying to get the quickest time possible, is antithetical to the freedom and adventure I associate with skiing. The last thing I would ever want to do is destroy the magic of skiing to me, and I could very quickly destroy that through being on a ski team.

Different topic, but the same applies to me with video games as well. I enjoy the single player and cooperative experiences, but avoid the "competitive/versus" modes like the plague unless it's purely a fun little competition among my friends, not against pale-skinned hardcore gamers online who haven't seen the sun in months.

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