For those who compete, what kind of fighter are you? Many get into competing chasing the dream of fame and fortune. The few that make it to that level are able to train full time and fight for their livelihood. I have competed in combat sports for over 30 years. In the traditional arts (karate and taekwondo) of course there was no money to be made. You compete to simply challenge yourself. I got into kickboxing and boxing and I've known athletes who were able to do these as professions. I know of a few MMA fighter who are full time fighters. Out of all of the combat athletes who fight full time, I know of more boxers who were able to commit more time to their craft (they made more money). For me, I've always enjoyed competing just for the sheer fun of it. It is the ultimate way for me to challenge myself. I never competed for the sole purpose of making money. I've always worked a regular job and competition was my outlet. I would do it for free. Even though I was not fighting as a full time athlete, I was still fortunate to win national and international titles.
At 50 years of age, I still get physical by competing in Judo. Last summer I did a kickboxing bout against in an international competition against a young opponent (mind you it was a modified kickboxing bout with less impact and shorter rounds) and look pretty sharp. I even entered an international Kata competition in Hungary. For the most part I am all fighter and never placed above 3rd in Kata (forms) competition. Being primarily a fighter, I am still chasing a 1st place in Kata!
So, why do you compete? If it's for money, that's cool, but do it because you enjoy it and have fun doing it. Train for the sake of training and you will stay with it longer. I am still finding ways to challenge myself and I'm still motivated and exciting every time I train.