||[Monday, September 7th, 2009
As a note: verbal diarrhoea. words here follow thought, one paragraph not necessarily linked to the next.
When something is out of my control I get uneasy. Well, not exactly. I'm fine with letting people make all the decisions, but if I disagree I prefer to at least make a bit of noise about it.
Up until then, Hillary Challenge '07 was the biggest thing I have ever taken on in my life, in terms of how much I gave. I will honestly say that I went further during those three days than I ever thought I could. At times after that when I felt like giving up on things - after capping some billion times in a day, bashing through vegetation as tall as me, climbing that mountain with what felt like an elephant - I'd look back on those three days, and say, FSK THIS, I SURVIVED HC WITHOUT TRAINING, I CAN SURVIVE THIS. It gave me a confidence I never had before, the one great accomplishment I didn't think I'd get.
I will say that today, I was more nervous than I'd been in a long time. Even during my race during nats, I wasn't half as afraid as today, simply because I knew how much I had put in before will be how much I'd get that day. Training for that race, studying for bloody econs. There is fear, for a while, but when it comes to the starting line it's Screw being afraid, the time is now. Fear drives you forward, but too much of it drives you mad.
Back on topic, today. In that moment before they announced second, I swear my heart was stuttering. I suppose, in part, because of how much I wanted Raffles to place, and because I had had no say in this. I may have helped a (teeeny) bit in prepping them, but when it comes down to it its their race. Their fight. As a spectator, you can see how tired and drained they are, but it is so hard to know if it's enough. I hate that helpless feeling, the feeling that I have done nothing that could have affected this.
So yes, I was dead terrified. Suspense kills me.
Raffles Team 1 won second, by a 500 point margin. Team 2 placed first, by a some 80-odd points.
Keep in mind that second place had 2260 points, thereabouts. o_0
Team 1 was physically fitter, team 2 intended to be the happiest team around.
I can't say I'm happy with the results, simply because no matter which team won, the other would have lost. I'm bloody glad that both teams managed to place, and I'm ecstatic that team 2 won first, but when you look at team 1, who trained as hard as the other, you can't help but feel for them. I know what it's like to lose. They cried, just now. The atmosphere around them was awkward, to say the least.
Team 2 must be overjoyed. When we won, that year, after all the push-push-push and blisters and talcum powder, I cried. Though it is often said that winning isn't the most important thing, I don't think that HCS would have become as important a touchstone to me if I hadn't won it. If we had lost, I would have remembered it as the time I pushed myself, and still failed. It would have been a marker in my life, with the lesson being - pushing yourself doesn't get you anywhere. Because of that one success, I learnt to move past future failures.
Not exactly what these competitions want you to do, I guess. Most importantly, I don't want this to be the case for team 1. They've put in so much effort, especially over the past few days - training never ever gets you completely ready for the actual thing. Both teams wanted so badly to win, but only one can. It would be a fsking shame if the other team took this badly. I would have, I think.
In this, team 1, I hope you're not like me. Don't disregard this failure, but don't get hung up in it, either. Learn from it. Know that you will go on even after this. Pushing yourself doesn't always guarantee you success, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. You may not have been first, but if you hadn't put yourself into this, you may not even have placed. If you do not try, you will die never knowing.
Maybe it's just me. I think this reflects a part of me - life goes on, relentlessly. Failure means you have to try again. It doesn't mean life ends here. No use stressing yourself over the answers you wrote an hour ago in the exam paper - you've handed it in, that's it. Study for the next paper.
I hate screwing up, I hate it so badly I'm scared to try because I fear I will fail. But if I never try, I'll never know if I could have succeeded. If you never jump, you'll never learn to fly.
Jump, not off a building, in the literal sense. Suicide is never an option. In killing yourself this way, you're giving up on life. Suicide is one thing I will never do. Life is short, the world is wondrous, and you're going to waste it by dying?
Fight on, niel.
This is one time I truly like the words on the Hwach field: 自强不息!
Back to econs, and Bach.
Something from a convo with shaun, because it strikes a chord with me:
-Even though, in the end, [To Raffles be the glory], the loss hurts on a personal level.
Sending in two teams, while providing a "second chance to win", means that even if you win, you lose. It's like playing chess against yourself.
My heart goes out to team 1.
Also, I disapprove of using ETA as edit to add. I always think of it as Estimated Time of Arrival. Edit To Add just seems like something the Internet threw together, like excessive chatspeak.