This blog started as a response to a discussion in the chat room of my 5% Challenge Team. As I was writing I realized it may be good to address the topic in a broader reach.
The initial question was, "Does anyone else find the competition elements of these 5% challenges uncomfortable?"
"Our Spring 5% Living the Good Life (LTGL) Challenge Theme - It Doesn`t Get Easier, You Just Get Better! Regardless of where you are starting from today, compete with yourself to be better than you were the day before. Eat healthier meals, get enough sleep, exercise for good health, stay positive and celebrate your baby steps. You are worth it!" (Quote from the Community Team)
******* Edit to be sure credit goes to KALISWALKER for researching and creating the challenge details. I love this theme!
I personally believe people are self-motivated. We can inspire and be inspired to be motivated to do things. Whatever the "thing" may be.
I also believe we are always competing with ourselves in the sense of personal growth. I am not great at setting and reaching goals, but I do try to improve on things that are important to my journey in life. In that way, I compete with myself to see if I can do that one more step, one more minute, learn that one new thing every day.
That being said, with 600+ members spread out over 14 teams, sure, there are those teams who consistently are ahead in the race because their members are more active. No one is required to do 120 minutes of exercise a day. 120 is the maximum allowed. If you do 10 minutes of intentional exercise after having been sedentary for years, what an amazing accomplishment that is. Will you always stop at 10 minutes? If that is your limit and you are satisfied with the result you can and should be proud of that accomplishment. On the other hand, your success may motivate you to try for 11 minutes or more.
Some people are inspired by seeing their name appear on a list for doing well so they are motivated to push that extra effort in order to get on the list. There are those people who would rather keep off the list. That is ok too. Let your leaders know.
This is my 32 challenge and in all that time I was never the "Biggest Loser" on my team until week 2 of this challenge. Am I proud of receiving my "Warrior's Medal"? You betcha! Was I upset or embarrassed because I have never achieved that before? Never, and no one ever made me feel like I was letting my team down.
One of the teams, not wanting to leave anyone out, created a hanging in there badge for those who gained weight. It was meant to be supportive of their continued efforts to work at losing. Instead, it was taken as an announcement of who gained weight.
People are different. Perception is different. It was recently brought to my attention that some members scroll the weight posts to see who is losing or not. I was appalled. I would never dream of doing that and shame on those who do. In any case, share positive support with your teammates. You don't need to know what the number on their scale is.
This probably seems more like random thoughts than a well read blog but I hope it helps anyone who is feeling left out, overlooked, or looked at too closely. The Challenge isn't for everyone. People come and go, but for those who stay, or return every few seasons it continues to inspire motivation to success.
PS: There is a team that is not competitive. It's a popular team and one of the first to reach max number of members at sign up time. The Casual Travelers is an amazing supportive team who do well without being on the competitive end. Keep in mind though, however Casual they may be, they do still like to land.