How Competitive Are You?

adventure journal poll competitive

Harvey Butchart, the college math professor who explored more miles of the Grand Canyon than anyone alive or dead, was notorious competitive – at hiking. He measured himself against others on fitness and stamina, and took notes on who was worthy (not many) and who wasn’t (most). At hiking, mind you, which, last I checked, didn’t give out medals for getting there first.

Are you that guy, the one who can’t wait for Strava to add SUP, surfing, and slacklining? The one who subtly but distinctly quickens the pace when your partner starts to breathe a little faster? The one who always hammers, even on the “let’s take it easy” days, the one who knows who has the lightest bike, lightest pack, and lowest PR?

Competitiveness is deeply woven into us, and without it, who knows, maybe homo sapiens would have been snuffed out long ago. It’s also an integral part of the adventure experience (see the race to the poles, the race to summit Everest, et. al.) and is a subtext for so many of our days in the field, admit it or not. Whether this is salubrious to the overall experience is something to consider at another time, but for today the issue is how much competition you bring to the party.

Are you always “on”? Are you constantly keeping track of the pecking order on casual rides? Do you start to feel tense and irritated if someone passes you on the trail? Do you grunt and stroke that much harder when someone is trying to get the same wave or take smug satisfaction when you got a better night’s sleep than your camping partner?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you might want to consider a career as a magazine editor. But that’s another poll…

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This week, one poll participant will receive a pair of Smith Optics Cornice sunglasses from Smith’s Archive collection. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) – all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, September 21, at midnight PST.

Congratulations to Kole Krieger, who wins the Smiths this week!

Photo by Edmund White

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