Workout of the Day

Like Against Like


If you received a call today inviting you to play a free round of golf with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day next week, whether you’re any good at golf or not, you would probably agree, if for no reason other than to spend a day hanging out with three golfing champions. Of course you would lose. After all, you are an amateur playing with high-level professionals, and so you wouldn’t really feel any shame in your loss just as a cyclist would feel no remorse at a Lamborghini beating her in a “race” from one stoplight to the next.

On the other hand, if you received an invite to play a round of golf with three amateur golfers, all with a handicap the same as or just below yours, you might be more hesitant to accept. Your opponents would be, to some degree, your equal, and that would mean that the outcome of the round of golf would reflect your performance as an amateur golfer. This is two cyclists or two Lamborghinis racing each other from one stoplight to the next: the winner will have cycled or driven better than the loser.

Like against like competitions, while they may at first glance seem more approachable than competitions with large disparities, are in fact the harder competitions to engage in and the harder pills to swallow with a loss. The ego is easily protected when your opponent is at an entirely different level than you. Of course I lost, those guys were pros, and I was just trying to have some fun.

The smaller the disparity, though, and the greater the sting of loss. I lost, and I’m supposed to be just as good as those guys.

Competition is a healthy and powerful motivator, but like anything, it is how we use it that determines its positive or negative effects. Do you find yourself shying away from competition with others who are at a similar level? Do you readily accept competition in which you are the guaranteed loser or the guaranteed winner, but avoid situations in which the outcome is unsure?

Step up your game. Find a competitor that’s on your level. Or better yet, someone who is a fraction better than you. Grow your circle of friends that you engage with in the healthy competitive sphere by inviting them into the gym, the workplace, the basketball court, or wherever you are seeking growth. You and your friend may just push each other to become better versions of yourselves.

- PS


  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 3 power snatch (155/105)

    • 12 C2B pull-ups

    • 400m run