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Sibling Rivalry

by Meghann on November 7, 2012

Fact: my siblings and I are very competitive

Oh, don’t get me wrong, we’re the very best of friends and love each other more than you could imagine, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy coming in 10 seconds before the others in a big race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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You could probably trace back our sibling rivalry tendencies to when we were kids. My parents used to use it to their advantage and pit us against each other in fun contests – who can bring in the most grocery bags at one time? who can clean their room the fastest? who can beat who in a race around the house? One of us would revel in a small victory while my parents enjoyed having their groceries brought in and house cleaned in record speed; +10 for Mom and Dad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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When it comes to racing, my sister and I are usually pretty neck and neck with our abilities. Depending on the day, the race, how either of us have trained, or how we feel; we usually take turns with who has the lead. We’ve been known to catch up to each other in a race and we’ve also been known to pass one another, or let the other go ahead if the other is having a bad race. You can probably look back at every race we’ve done together and see where we swap off taking the lead every other time.

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At Miami 70.3 a couple of weeks ago Kelly told me afterwards that knowing I was behind her during the run is what pushed her to keep the pace she was at, not walk, and finish without regrets (because she wanted to beat me). I told her that having her in front of me was what pushed me forward, too (because I wanted to beat her ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Without one of us pushing the other, I bet our run times would have been a lot slower for the race.

With Ben, he blows both Kelly and I out of the water on the bike, but we can usually take him on the run. However, I bet if he worked a little more on speed training he could give Kelly and I both a run for our money with our run times. He has speed there, he just needs to really hone in on it and push it.

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Even though the three of us are competitive with each other, we always keep that competitiveness in a positive light by ALWAYS encouraging each other and NEVER getting mad at the other for taking a lead or coming in first. Instead, we thrive on that competitiveness and use it as a way to push each to our full potential by setting higher goals that we realize we can achieve because the other did it. Without my sister I probably would never have run my first 5k, it was when I saw her do it that I realized I could do it too. The same thing for my sister and the marathon, it was after I ran my first marathon that she realized it wasn’t as scary as it seemed. I also think that’s why Ben got into running and triathlons, he saw all the fun we were having and didn’t want to miss out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The truth is, when we’re racing each other, none of us lose – we all win. We might fight for that faster time or to finish first, but even if it doesn’t happen – that’s okay – because we’re proud of each other. We’re all winners because we’re all out there together, as a family, having fun. We joke about beating the other, but that’s because we’re family and that’s what we do. We push each other to be the best we can be, then celebrate along the way.

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Are your siblings competitive? Do they inspire you to push your limits?

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary @ food and fun on the run November 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

I think it is so awesome how you complete races with your family. There are not too many people that can say they are taking on Ironman with their brother and their sister! I am totally jealous!
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2 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

Such a touching post, Meghann! Back in the day, my sisters (they’re twins) and I played rec softball together, which was a ton of fun. Plus, in high school, I played field-hockey with one of my sisters; we both played defense, so it was really cool to have a one-two sister punch. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since high school, though, my sisters and I haven’t done any races together–although we went to a few spinning classes together–and I’m hoping that changes come Thanksgiving: I’m trying to convince one to run a local turkey trot with me. ๐Ÿ™‚
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3 lisa fine November 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

My sister and I are definitely not competitive types. Neither of us grew up playing sports much, and were more into art and theater. That being said, I loved having my sister cheer me on for my first half marathon (Disney Wine and Dine) last year, and being able to walk around Walt Disney World with her afterwards.

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4 Megan @ The Running Doc November 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

I have 4 younger siblings and I so wish that even just one of them would get into running or racing! I think it’s so awesome that you do all of these races (whether just running or triathlons) with your siblings, such a great bonding experience! Perhaps when I’m home for the holidays I’ll have to try and coerce one of them into running with me. ๐Ÿ™‚
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5 Sarah November 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

My brother and I are super competitive as well. Whenever I’m home we get in wars over who can top the other’s story, who is the better athlete, etc. I think you’re right- it makes us all stronger. Thanks for putting it in a different light ๐Ÿ™‚
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6 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer November 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

I absolutely love that you guys are competitive in a positive way. I feel like my siblings always resent me for the way I push myself…. we are competitive for sure, but not always in a good way. You guys are inspiring!
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7 Natalie @ Free Range Human November 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

That’s so awesome! My sister and I aren’t really that competitive since we’re far enough apart in age. However, I can totally relate to her being the one to keep pushing me forward. When we’re working out together, I absolutely will not stop until she does!
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8 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale November 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

I am a HIGHLY competitive person, but not with my brothers (we don’t have ANY similar interestes and they’re both passive — not the best for competition of any kind). I’m competitive with my Dad while playing games, but not athletically. I wish I had someone I was that close to with whom to compete. To have that constant and present support and encouragement.
This post was adorable!! I’m so glad you have this joy and influence in your life.
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9 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 7, 2012 at 10:59 am

My brothers and I weren’t as close growing up and we were very different when it came to interests and talents so we never got too competitive.
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10 Michelle November 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

I am competitive but my brothers aren’t into races so usually we just compete when it comes to silly things like board games.
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11 Courtney November 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

I like this post! My siblings and I don’t share any of the same interests and have quite an age gap between us, so there’s never really any competition. I always thought it would be fun to have a sibling who enjoyed running/being active, though. Maybe my kids (whenever that time comes…) can have what your siblings have one day!
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12 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin November 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

My sister and I are best friends and love some friendly competition. She likes to run for exercise and enjoyment, but she refuses to sign up for a race. One day I am going to get her to run a half with me – and then I will smoke her in the last mile ๐Ÿ˜‰

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13 Ashley November 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

I remembered reading that comment and thinking how awesome it was that she was feeding off of you. Totally jealous. I’m the oldest of 4, and all of my siblings are too young to have this competitiveness with. However, I hope that in watching/hearing about me completing all my races, they’ll be inspired to follow in their sisters’ footsteps in the future!

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14 Sarah November 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

That’s really awesome! That’s how my mom and I are. My sister is too young to get into racing but she’s starting rowing in the spring and she’s already kicking my butt there. My mom and I always race together and she always tells me that I challenge her to go faster. To be honest, that’s how I feel about her being there. Love having someone there to do that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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15 NYC Fit GIrl November 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

My siblings and I are extremely competitive. Get us in a race and someone needs to win ๐Ÿ™‚ Usually my brother and I usually come in last!
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16 Jean November 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

I certainly wish they were competitive! But alas, no.

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17 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’m not too competitive with my sister because she’s so much younger than me – 10 years! I was the only child for 10 years and when I moved away to college she pretty much got to be an only child for her high school years. Best of both worlds!

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18 Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air November 7, 2012 at 11:44 am

Things like this make me wish I had siblings. So cool that y’all are able to push each other but also still be so supportive!!
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19 Annette @FitnessPerks November 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

I think this is so cool! So happy you all have found a nice medium between competition & pushing.

My siblings and I all are SUPER competitive, but in our own ways. And we all are really determined–so yah, board games get a bit intense, to say the least!
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20 Belle November 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Don’t you have another brother too?

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21 MealsAndMiles November 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Yes, but he isn’t into running.

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22 Lesley T. November 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm

And doesn’t he live in California for his residency (I think I’m remembering that correctly)?

It’s hard to be too competitive with someone 3000 miles away, haha.

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23 Meghann November 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

He does live in California and we miss him dearly. ๐Ÿ™‚

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24 Cher @ Weddicted November 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

My siblings and I are not very competitive because we have varying interests. With that, we can just cheer each other on in our own activities and accomplishments ๐Ÿ™‚

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25 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I think some competition is healthy and I think that you guys train together and work together, makes your competition even healthier.
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26 Chenoa November 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m curious about your twin brother…. is he not into racing/fitness stuff? Does he just have completely separate interests from the rest of you, or is he just too busy?

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27 MealsAndMiles November 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

He is not into running and is currently in his second year of residency. We do share other similar interests, such as skiing, and trust me, he can kick my butt down the mountain.

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28 Grace @ Grace Dishes November 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I definitely get where you are coming from in terms of sibling rivalry! A little competition is definitely healthy.

I have a sister who’s only 18 months younger than me so we are the best of friends but can get competitive. She’s not really into health and fitness though but we do feel competitive in other ways ๐Ÿ™‚

My baby brother is 14 years younger than me so it’s hard to “compete” with him.
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29 [email protected] November 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

What a cool post! That’s awesome that you get to run with your siblings. My sister runs too, but isn’t in to racing. I’ve been trying to persuade her….I’ll have to make her read your post. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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30 Cara November 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I have a twin brother, and we have similar interests in the fitness area of things but neither of us are super competitive. Though, he is the one that always kept me running, he started running track in high school, so naturally I did too.
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31 Hillary November 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

My brother is the most competitive person I know, which has actually made me HATE competition! I guess I’m most competitive with myself, but when it comes to competing with others during sports or academics, it’s just not my thing.
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32 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions November 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I can’t say that I got into running because my sister ran a 5K, but I’ve definitely run my 5Ks with her PR in mind. She doesn’t run much anymore (and fortunately for me she’s slower now than she was when she started ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), I haven’t had a fast 5K year, and right now we’ve got identical PRs. I want to PR for me, of course–but I also want to PR to beat her PR ๐Ÿ˜‰
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33 Life's a Bowl November 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You and your siblings are absolutely awesome [and precious]! I have a younger brother who I’ve gotten along with while we were growing up but we never really did anything together other than the mandatory family outings… I would love 3 kids of my own and y’all are a perfect example of why!
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34 Brittany @Berries and Barbells November 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

My brother is running in his second marathon this weekend. It is because of him that I have a goal to run a marathon in 2013!
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35 Katby November 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

What about the “in-law” siblings, Ashley, Anthony, and Derek? Do you think they will all eventually join the family running team?

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36 Kelly November 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I LOVE my siblings! I would never have run a marathon without seeing that you could do it and I would never have signed up for an ironman without Ben’s encouragement. I think we push each other to be better athletes.

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37 Yo Momma Runs November 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

You guys are all so adorable! I just asked my big brother to come pace me for the second half of my marathon because I believe he is one of the few people who can push me without being annoying.:) He basically tells me to quit whining and step up. And somehow I listen! But we also have a joke that I like to pretend I’m dying during a race, but when he’s not expecting it, I sprint to the finish and beat him.
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38 Macrae November 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Cute post! Y’all are lucky to have each other! fyi-I think it is ‘pit against’ not ‘pin against” ๐Ÿ™‚

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39 Meghann November 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Thanks! I’ll fix that.

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40 Chelsea @ CardioandCocktails November 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I love this post! That’s how my siblings and I are as well, but I wish we did more of the same events- we were all big into team sports. Either way, we’re all really supportive and competitive at the same time- everyone who knows us knows how crazy we can be!
Btw, I love that black tank you’re wearing in the last pic! Where is it from??
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41 Debbie B. November 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

I got into running because my brother had started running and lost 60 lbs. Even though he is faster then me he paced me during a Labor Day 10 k and I PR’d. I would love to have a sister that I had a close bond with and could compete with. I think competition is good.

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