- for fun and profit, might even get a t-shirt (definitely no donuts and coffee)
- just to see what that like
- for the rush
- for affection from the opposite sex or same, depends on which way you go
- for stupidity from a dare
do we really need a reason? stand on earth you compete against gravity. in space, you compete against vacuum and solar radiation. life is a competition against death. of course, death always win, unless you are zombie. which remind me, what aikido techniques counter zombies, since there seemed to be lots of movie about zombies of late.
Thanks for the list Phi! But do they really add up to the intention to compete?
Clearly you are speaking about a competitive event in the first couple of examples, in which you mention things you could experience just by forfeiting immediately after the competition begins. You're not really competing by definition of the word in any of these, you are only there to get something other than winning or as a result of winning. When your motivation to get those things you listed makes you need to win first, then the motivation in entering the competition still comes down to proving to yourself and/or others that you can outperform the opponent (even if just for a t-shirt). Maybe you're competing to see what it's like or for the rush, but you would not have either of those experiences if you didn't enter it with the idea of winning or losing.
I don't see any of the things you listed as natural competition. Gravity is a natural force so gravity can not "lose." You don't compete with it, you use it to move around the world and it is not trying to immobilize you. You don't compete with "death" you move in accordance with life. If you go to space you will need to take precautions that would insure your resistance against forces in nature that will destroy your body, but deep space isn't out to "win." You would only be competing with yourself to come up with the best way to not fall victim to the forces of nature that just are