Challenge Competitors participate for a variety of reasons; at the top of the pyramid are world-class athletes who would be standouts in a number of sports. For them, the Challenge provides a highly charged platform with which to integrate a plethora of fitness dimensions such as power, agility, balance and muscular endurance. Others find that this is a natural extension of the social environment that they enjoyed as an scholastic amateur athlete- only now with fellow firefighters.
I especially appreciate the comments of our veteran Competitors, those guys in their 40’s and beyond who say that this outlet provides the motivation to stay in job-related shape. These guys provide huge motivation to their younger counterparts who sometimes believe that after probation, one can ride the long, slow slide to oblivion.
Then there are the majority of participants who see the Challenge as an experience that they want to put on their resume. Nothing wrong with that- plus you get a cool tee shirt. I’ve never heard anyone remark that the Challenge was not an accurate reflection of the demands of a good working fire.
But, no matter your motivation, I’d like suggest a mandatory reading assignment: With Winning in Mind. It’s a short tome by Lanny Bassham. This paperback, published in 1995 describes the Mental Management System. Bassham, an Olympic gold medal winner describes how to prepare for competition by focusing on what’s important and ignoring the distractions or thought processes that can make subtle differences between first and second place.
But, regardless of your focus- top athlete or a participant- this book has very practical applications for every aspect of your life. You can knock this book out in an afternoon, but assimilation of the principles can make a difference for the rest of your life. I’d like to make reading this book a requirement for everyone who steps out on the course.
Rick Porter a world class marksman competitor recommended the book to me and I’m very glad that he did. I’m compelled to pass along the tip to you. Tell me what you think after reading it.
Want it cheap? Got to Half.com; you can pick it up for $10.