All these guys want to add another 100lbs before their squat before they compete in the novice category
Look; it's true not everyone can win. In fact, if everyone COULD win, you wouldn't want to be at that competition in the first place. Participation trophies are crap. That said, first, I need to clear up the fact that no one is going to laugh at you in a competition. In fact, I gotta imagine that the people who even say these quotes must be psychopaths, because if you even think that's an acceptable form of behavior to the point that YOU'RE going to encounter it, your worldview is a little skewed. But once again, I digress. Competition are full of supportive people, and if you go to one, no one is going to be a jerk to you. As for WHY you should compete, reference my earlier work (aptly titled "Why compete").
However, what I present to you today is the proper way to lose; like a winner. No, this isn't going to be anything about being a good sport and all that trite stuff that you already know (although you SHOULD endeavor to not be an asshole when possible), it's going to be about how KNOWING that you're going to lose can be empowering.
I mean...maybe not ALL the time
I've written before about how, in "The Art of War", Sun Tzu advises to never completely surround your enemy with no chance of survival, because this means they will fight until the very last man. If given a chance to escape, they will fight hard enough to be able to create distance and flee, but when there is no escape, they will fight harder than ever, because there is nothing to lose. So why not CHOOSE to have nothing to lose?
The people chasing trophies and first place put themselves at a disadvantage; they are at risk of losing. The people who do not seek victory cannot lose. You're not here to win the war; you're here to holdout in the siege for as long as possible, draining the enemy's resources and exhausting their morale while you set fire to the oilfields and take potshots from sniper dens. It's not about winning the fight, it's about seeing how many motherf**kers it takes to finally take you down.
When I used to wrestle in high school, and during my brief foray into MMA, I always had the same thought; the other guy has already won, but by the time this is over, he's gonna know he was in a fight. I wanted him to break his hands punching my skull in while I was just smiled a bloody toothless smile at him. I wanted to lose on points because I took too many hits coming in to throw a shovel hook that ruptured his liver. We're talking about Jack Dempsey's "bad intentions" here. You're not coming in to win; you're here to make the other guy lose.
I'm just saying that it's pretty obvious who came to box and who came to kill
When you compete, compete knowing that you're going to lose, but that you're going to ruin someone's day by doing so. Know that you're going to get beat on the car deadlift, but that you're going to hit so many goddamn reps that the guy who beats you is going to get rhabdomyolysis. Know that you can't possibly place by doing well in the last event, but that you're going to blow everyone else away so much that you're going to screw up the placings for everyone else. Make it your goal to be that guy that no one saw coming; that while you're behind the 8 ball, you aren't holding anything back.
Knowing that you aren't going to win doesn't HAVE to be an admission of weakness; it can very well be an admission of strength. You don't have to be a loser just because you're going to lose. Go out there, lose, and lose so goddamn hard that you bring everyone else down with you. Lose so spectacularly that no one can top just how majestic your downward spiral was. Shoot out the biggest fireball when you crash and burn and erupt with such fury that the effort expended in your failure is unquestionable.
Reminder: NEVER mix poprocks and coke
What else have you got to lose?