Sunday Scribblings: Competitiveness

The few times that I tried to compete in physical sports, I had a bloody nose from trying to catch a softball, football, and volleyball. Or I put my back out by pitching softball. That time I spent three days lying on the floor moaning. Or I hurt my knees jumping. I wanted to win. I wanted to beat those naturally physical players. In the course of trying to win, I hurt myself badly.

So yes, I am highly competitive. I have learned to redirect my competitiveness to cerebral activities. For instance, I went back to college in 1998. I worked hard on homework. I worked hard on trying to understand concepts. I was a natural writer. So, I had a 4.0 average for two years. And, when I graduated, I was the symbol of academic performance.

Unfortunately, when I started my Master’s Degree in Education, I became ill. Between the illness and the medication I almost didn’t make it. But it was that will to compete turned into that will to live. Eventually I went into remission. And, because of the medication (cytoxan) I have lost some cognitive function.

Once again, I have learned to turn this competitiveness to other venues such as survival. I have turned this competitiveness to determination to write the best I can. I now have problems with grammar. I cannot see mistakes that used to be obvious to my eye. I cannot see my spelling errors. And, my mind makes puns that I do not see until I re-read a piece.

I cannot compete with myself anymore. I have learned to soften my sentences. I have learned to go with the flow. Orwellian sentences are only used to make a point or not at all.

What has changed in me? I am not so infatuated with brilliant language. I have learned to “get ‘er done” with simplicity.

And in return? I have been given the gift of the fictive dream.


About Cyn Bagley

My life is a mixture of travel, jobs, and disease. You can find some of my novels on under the name Cyn Bagley.
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12 Responses to Sunday Scribblings: Competitiveness

  1. Robin says:

    Your competitive spirit is serving you well as you overcome the challenges life is throwing at you.

  2. Mad Kane says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that. I’m so glad that something good came out of life’s challenges.I had to walk away from my beloved profession — playing the oboe — because of injuries, so I have a small sense of what you’ve gone through.Mad Kane

  3. Thank you Robin. I do believe that if I did not have the competitive spirt (plus good doctors, medication, and a good hubby), I would be dead now.Mad Kane,I love the sound of the oboe. I am sorry that you had to quit. However, I have always found something to compensate. It is not what I always expect.

  4. Mad Kane says:

    Thanks, Cynthia. Fortunately, I found two other loves that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise found — writing humor … and my husband.

  5. I understand mad kane.I am also grateful for my husband. (oh yea, and the writing too).

  6. This piece was so vunerable and honest and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your problems, and for sharing your strength to overcome some big obstacles. You are a hero!

  7. tickledpink.nicole, thank you. I am actually doing so much better. I am so grateful with what I have now. πŸ™‚

  8. They say, if God closes doors, he opens windows. Glad that you are grateful of what you are given right now. :-)Thanks for leaving a comment in my Sunday Scribblings post at

  9. Devil Mood says:

    Sometimes other things turn up that are so much more important than competing (with others and also with ourselves). We need to give ourselves some time and some understanding. Being too hard on ourselves can be a pain too.I’m glad it’s turning out good for you πŸ™‚

  10. Sandier pastures: Thanks for coming by too. I use that window saying a lot… it has helped me through a lot of rough times. :-)Devil Mood: Thanks for your thoughts. The hardest thing for me was to give up my independence. I went through a dementia period with my medications. I was not a good patient. Thankfully, even though I will never be on the same level I was before my illness, I am so grateful for what I have now.

  11. I mostly compete against myself. It is not an ugly word if you know what you are doing. It can be very positive too.Go Compete

  12. I agree, guatami. I wouldn’t be alive today if I didn’t have that competitive spirit. It could have been too easy to give up. πŸ™‚

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