Just like a gazillion Americans out there, I’m obsessed with The Olympics. Swimming? Check. Gymnastics? Check. Canoe Slalom? Fine.
In the light of all the gymnastics drama (Poor Jordyn, that rule blows!) I’ve been thinking a lot about what it must be like to compete against your BFFs. Some of these gymnasts have known each other since they were six years old. Have you seen this decade-old pic of U.S gymnasts Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney at the gym together? It’s amazing.
A lot has been made of the fact that two other gymnasts, Jordyn Weiber and Aly Raisman, are best friends, but the latter knocked the former out of the gymastics all-around finals. Also of the friendship-slash-rivalry between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be best friends and teammates, but also competitors. I know they do a good job of saying the right thing, but it seems that all of these athletes have actually mastered the art of being friends off the clock, and bitter rivals when competition starts.
You have to have a pretty serious emotional maturity to be able to compartmentalize a relationship so well. I’ve rarely been in any real competition with best friends, let alone of the Olympic-sized variety. But competing with a high school bestie for a spot on a team or a role in a play, or a college BFF for a job, or a work BFF for a promotion– it’s uncomfortable. You have to decide at the outset of how you want to approach it. Will you discuss it outright, or each do your own thing? Can you avoid letting competition taint the friendship?
Ever been in this situation yourself? You and your best pal are a pair, except when you want to kick each other’s butts?