I have always been super competitive. Since before I can remember I was trying to do things faster, better, and since I don’t really remember very much about my life as an infant I have always thought that started with having a little brother. I assumed that I was always competing against him or my cousins, or perhaps my father. I recently realized this was incorrect.
First I had to put a lot of thought into understanding what I liked about winning. The Leo in me just loved the spot light, and if I happened to be the one standing atop the podium it was all the better. So holding a trophy, and taking a picture gave me some kind of rush. Getting my picture taken and being told I was special is always validating and I am kind of a ham so that was never an issue. But that was not always a guarantee and not the real reason I enjoyed competition.
One thing I knew was that I hated loosing, and as much as I loved winning I didn’t particularly like the look on my competitors faces when they lost either. It felt good to be on the podium but I didn’t like that there were only three spots. It was bittersweet, because it wasn’t so much that I loved the praise and being exalted. I just liked being acknowledged, and being included. I didn’t like the the fact that it meant others had to be excluded.
So much of my life I avoided competition for this reason. I felt that it was acidic to have to crush someone else’s dreams just to realize my own. There was something destructive about that and forced me out. This let me to art, where I could fully exercise my abilities in a community of others that were doing the same. We could all be independent together, no one better or worse, just different subjectively equal.
As an athlete I tried to apply that philosophy but it became difficult to know if I was progressing without measurement. The moment I began timing my runs, I wanted to improve them. But I wasn’t running against anyone except the clock. I only wanted to improve my own time. So then when it came time to enter a marathon, I knew that I needed to run my own race, but it was much like the artist community where I had to joy of seeing how other people ran, learn and be inspired but not objectively compare. We all had different physical statures so how we approached the run and the results we got were all different.
Now that I am a fencer, and have this Olympic ambition burning inside me, I realize that I am still seeking the same thing, to learn and be inspired. To challenge my self to reach my highest potential. The goal is to be faster, more accurate, more graceful, more in control. The person on the other side of the strip is only a mirror, reflecting back my progress, showing me where I am.
My competitor is really an ally, they are the first person I show my work to when I feel it is complete. They give me their honest feed back and first impression. I take their notes and mix them with my ideas and continue to strive forward.
So if I ever end up at the podium, I should thank all my competitors for helping me to improve, each match is a lesson, that affirms or challenges the techniques I am employing. There are no opponents, only teachers.
One of my favorite t shirts.
Colorful life, colorful clothes, colorful spirit.
Epic shot from when the ever lovely @mshollyvinyl let me hang out with the fam😍
Check out the piece I wrote on how practicing movement with a partner can strengthen your relationships.
Inside this issue of #UndoMagazine available now at Space 1520 on Hollywood.
(at Space 1520)
Jumping The Fence: Season 2 coming soon…
Photo:@peterjbrant (at UCLA Fencing Center)
#10daysofbirthday keeps on pushing as we roll through into the weekend. I’m glad to announce I’ll be playing at The Sayers Club this Tuesday at 10pm. Been working on some moves as you can see! 👀
#maceopaisley#live#tuesday#socksswag#dance#slick (at happybirthdaymaceo.com)
The miracle of my life didn’t end with my birth but was renewed everyday for 27years by three of the most amazing people God has ever created. Even with the loss of y mother I can only look back on the foundation my family provided with the most profound appreciation and love. And beyond these three there are cousins and aunts and uncles that have continued to shape who I’ve become. Even until today I’ve met amazing inspirations and friends that further remind me that my life is a miracle. Everything that I do is to simply make use of this miracle and bring honor to myself, my family, and the world.
#humbled (at happybirthdaymaceo.com)
To culminate #10daysofbirthday I’ll be rocking the stage at @thesayersclub with @Brycevine come out for my first show on August 19th 10pm.
Monday means business!