Our athletes are celebrities. We even follow whether a horse can win three big races to capture the Triple Crown. We rarely remember those who come in second place, and we almost never hear about those who come in last place.
Christ tells us, "the last will be first, and the first will be last," (Matthew 20:16) The truth is we learn a lot from losing. We learn humility, and we gain perspective. Hopefully, we also learn that our priorities may be different than what God has in mind for us. Sure, losing is disappointing, especially when you train to win.
So, should we run to win? It seems clear that there are a lot of benefits to competing. Competition can help you focus. Also, competition can help you strive to reach a goal, or aspire for something that seems out of reach.
At the same time, winning is not everything. Many "winners" have horrible lives. How many of us want to follow in the path of Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong?
In the end, winning is great, but many people lead rich lives when they run the race, and end up coming in second, third or even 47th place. In this case, Nike's slogan is profound in its simplicity, "Just do it!"