Is it bad to have rivalries? I’ll leave you to ponder that thought for a moment….
You see I would say Yes and No to this, and I would argue that the answer is entirely subjective and therefore depends on the individual, their physical make- up and their ambition in life. Rivalry is defined as ‘competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field’. The word rivalry is synonymous to the terms competitiveness, competition, contention, opposition, conflict, struggle, antagonism and friction. However, I believe that the manner in which the rivalry manifests itself depends on the person, the situation, and the environment. The term ‘bitter rivals’ is a prime example of negative rivalry, whereas ‘healthy rivalry’ denotes a more friendly rivalry that drives two individuals on to succeed.
What is a ‘gym buddy’ if not a rival?
Calling your gym buddy a rival may seem over competitive, but to those gym goers who train (and I mean properly train) to obtain an impressive physique, a gym partner is one or more of the following…a spotter, a motivator, an observer (feeding back on form etc) and/ or a rival! I defy any person to honestly say that they never compare their physiques to their gym buddies. You may be in better or worse shape compared to your partner, but either way, human nature dictates that we gauge our progress on our peers and rivals…and so I feel a gym buddy is one and the same thing to those competitive individuals among us.
Ronaldo Vs Messi : Healthy or unhealthy rivalry?
Honestly, who knows… unfortunately I’m not mates with either of these world beaters, but what is evident is that the infamous rivalry between the two is doing neither of them any harm! Take Raul’s all- time champions league goal scoring record as an example, he managed 71 goals over his career, but as if fate intended it this way, two of the greatest sporting professionals in history are both within 2 goals of this record. Ronaldo sits on 70 goals whilst Messi has 69, and goodness knows what discipline it takes for two professionals earning in excess of £300,000 a week to maintain that kind of consistency…but I’d hazard a guess that a large portion of motivation comes from one another! Of course, the best of the best have intrinsic motivation (driven from within), but there is no doubt in my mind that extrinsic factors such as the rivalry you might see between F1 racers Hunt and Lauda, tennis players Federer and Nadal, and of course Ronaldo and Messi is one of, if not the main motivation to succeed.
Prominent examples of this in the bodybuilding world include Arnold and Olivia, Zane and Columbu, Gaspari and Haney, Cutler and Ronnie, and of course the current (and this time ‘bitter rivalry’) between Heath and Greene. Although these guys will possibly resent the rivalry between them, I would bet that one day looking back they will attribute a lot of their success to the motivation and drive drawn from one another.