As a female entrepreneur, business owner, and living in what is mostly a male-populated mountain community. It can be said that I play with and potentially against men all the time.
However, the idea of “against” doesn’t resonate with me. What’s interesting is that this specific topic came up due to my background. In junior high I ended up in a gym class for boys wrestling. How, you ask? Well, I chose it.
The other option was female basketball, and at that time in my life it didn’t sound appealing. So I signed up for boys wrestling. I was about one of two ladies that chose this option. In this gym glass we used to play this game called Battle Royale.
It was fun. It was brutal. It was a survival game.
Turns out I wasn’t horrible. I started to succeed. And you know what. It brought me joy because there was no expectation of what was supposed to happen.
I continued in other sports, but eventually found the desire to go back into the world of wrestling. Come high school, three girlfriends and I joined the high school wrestling team.
Again, there were no expectations for us to succeed. But man, there were expectations for us to fail. We were a AAAA school and our men’s team had an excellent track record, and nobody was interested in us trying to make waves.
My parents were far from excited to see their baby girl play in a man’s sport. In fact, coming from my initial background of ballet and gymnastics, this is far from what they really wanted for me. But I felt a different pull and I fought my way to varsity and on the traveling team.
Now, this story is going to be brief so we get back to the initial reason we started down this path.
The true lesson and the point of today’s story is this. The minute we pit ourselves against others, we lose. The minute we start caring about what others think of us we lose.
So wherever you are right now and whatever you are doing. No matter where you gauge yourself on your own personal barometer of success – just remember. It’s never about somebody else. It’s never about something else.
It’s about you.
Your own triumphs.
So while I titled this article, “playing against men” it was a segue-way to remind us that you’re never playing against anybody else but yourself.