As I went to sixth, I realized two things. One, I had found that I’m gonna be a miserable failure in sports. Two, I had lost. Just lost. The name ‘Sloth Aunty’ stuck to me permanently, making me (an ardent animal lover) hate sloths.
Last year, I was forced to participate in a long jump competiton. I fretted and protested, pretended I was sick and couldn’t participate, but there was absolutely NO other choice. I had lost my challenge with sports, and I was NOT willing to continue.
No, they said, no other choice for you. I grumbled and went to the long jump ground, thinking many things. I was a sort of unconditional teacher’s pet, so I was incredibly unpopular among students. To put salt on wounds, I was a volunteer too, which made me even more unpopular. I cannot be more unpopular than this, I thought.
I never knew just how much more unpopular this game would make me.
Well. No use crying over split milk. The game started. However much I hate to admit it, the boys were amazing – only at athletics. I enviously glared at the slim, lithe girls (who looked sooo like me, but performances in sports were reversed).
Finally it was my chance. I took a deep breath. As soon as I started running, everybody howled. Cries of ‘Sloth Aunty!’, ‘Madvaanthi (vaanthi means ‘vomit’ in many Dravidian languages)’. I was used to this. I could do this.
As soon as the arena came into focus, I leaped. Without any false allusions. Distance I had jumped? 5 cm. No surprise, I thought, as the crowd booed behind me.
The second run proved to have the same result. As I sat down, thoroughly exhausted, I thought. What is wrong in losing? People will make fun of you? You will have lowered self-esteem? Nobody will respect you? You will become unpopular? So WHAT???
There is nothing wrong in any of these. Why then, should we feel ashamed. Failure is the stepping stone to success. Failure teaches us. Not only do we learn (ahem) from our mistakes, we also discover our strengths. We learn what works for us and what doesn’t through trial-and-error. Though this might take some (actually a very long) time, we eventually discover what we are good at.
I discovered something. Though I had lost (miserably), some day or the other, I’ll finally find SOME sport in which I WILL outshine others. I have lost my adventurous spirit once, but now that I have found it, I’ll never lose it again.