The Competition
Music and Lyrics by Ray Hix
1984 Ray Hix

The Competition

Verse 1
All the days of preparation,
the endless training to get yourself in shape.

Pushing ever harder, pushing ever faster.
Pushing ever harder, pushing ever faster.

Got to reach past your limits.
Got to take it even farther now.
Got to reach past your limits.
Got to take it even farther now.

And on that special day,
if I can have my way,
I will walk away
with the victory mine, success feeling fine.

Verse 2
You've got your goal clearly in mind,
to outperform the best from all around.

(Repeat Chorus)

Can't wait, I can't wait for that day to come.
Can't wait, I can't wait for that day to come.
And finally, the moment you've been waiting for, the big event is here.

(Instrumental Section representing the Competition Event)

Verse 3
What a day of celebration.
Spectacular performances by all.

(Repeat Chorus)

The Idea Behind the Music:
This song was inspired by watching the Olympics on TV. I am blown away by the sheer commitment to mastery that these athletes live from. If you take all of the practice I've done with my music, but use your entire body instead of just your hands, then add far more hours of practice per day than I used to put in, that's what it takes to perform at an Olympic level.

This was an experiment in composing for me. Rather than write a song in which only the lyrics tell you about the athletes story (but the music could be generic), I wanted to create music that captures the feel of the athlete's process; like scoring music to enhance different parts of a movie. I wanted to write music that represented some of the states of being that athletes experience on their path to mastery.

It took a few attempts to get the music right for this piece. My first attempt had a bouncy 8th-note rhythm. It sounded more like music for a women's aerobics tape than a musical representation of a rugged athlete training. It did not convey strength and discipline at all. So I tried to toughen it up a little. My second attempt sounded like a beer commercial for a college frat house. It felt more like a stoner's party, not much like discipline and precision. I finally came up with music that better represents the different phases of training and competing.

The rhythm here is syncopated; it's not just a steady and predictable rhythm. When engaged in serious training, you can't just "set it and forget it" you have to be clear on your purpose and practice with full awareness of what's needed next for correction and improvement.

It takes more than mere repetition to achieve mastery. You have to stay alert for your next way to improve. Getting to the breakthrough can be tough, but once you get the breakthrough, there can be a feeling of ease and grace. And of course, once you gain mastery with your new breakthrough, you're then looking for your next breakthrough. That's the commitment to mastery.

Longing for Success:
There's a little kid in every athlete that is dreaming and hoping for success. Underneath the bragging, the trash talk, and even the positive thinking, there's a child-like desire to be seen and known for all you've accomplished.

The actual Competition:
You've probably noticed: competitions are different from practicing on your own. There are often unknowns and surprises that pop up. This part of the music has its own instrumental section, written in a 7/4 time signature, with a chorus in 5/4. The ending of this section represents the chaos of everyone giving it all that they've got at the finish.

The Celebration:
Back to "reality" to enjoy the win!

This song features Chris (a studio singer) on lead vocals. All instruments are by Ray Hix.

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