Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Journey to my Very First Writing Competition Victory

     I was feeling giddy when I dragged myself out of bed at around 4 in the morning. Somehow, I couldn't manage to get the excitement rolling as I tried to picture how my writing would turn out during the competition proper. Maybe because I stayed so late at night due to my adrenaline reaching its highest peak caused by too many pictures of possibilities scurrying in and out of my head like getting a writer's block or a topic that's out of my league or the training I went through wasn't enough. I have always been the type of guy who tires himself by over-thinking things too much and expects be a big slap on the face whenever the outcomes of a particular situation turned out to be completely different from what my mind made me think of.

     Nevertheless, the experience brought by the Essay Writing Competition that day was somehow similar to the previous writing competitions I have joined. Once again, it successfully made me lose appetite, it shook my nerves like it was never shaken before and it made me pray so hard people thought it was my last day on earth.

     The clock struck exactly at 7 am when I arrived in school and I went straight to the faculty room to look for my trainer. She instructed me to find her in the teacher's lounge so that we could do our final training session before the actual competition begins. We were going over the pointers she taught me in our previous meetings and we also went back to the essay samples I did to recall what changes must be done and how to develop the sentences better. At the back of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities of winning or losing. If there's one thing I am passionate about, that would be writing and if there's a competition I really don't want to lose, that would be an Essay Writing Competition. 

     Ms. Dina left me in the library for a few minutes and told me to review my notes. I was trying to focus on what must be done but I was also busy imagining myself receiving the trophy on stage while the audience clapped enthusiastically for my victory. I could see my friends at the back row shouting my name, sharing my most awaited victory.

     However, I was called back to earth when Ms. Dina came in the door of the library and told me to come down with her to the competition venue. And I knew, it was time. It was time to give everything I got and lay everything on the line. I was determined to win. I wasn't aiming for second or third place, I was aiming to be the best. I don't remember winning writing competitions before however, I always make it to a point that I learn from every experience knowing that it could help me develop and someday have my time under the spotlight. As I drew closer to the competition venue, I was praying to God to let this day be the day where my talent is recognized.

     The writing battle began and as the seconds ticked away, I readily applied the technique Ms. Dina advised me. A technique to make sure that my essay is sensible and coherent at the same time. Word after word came rushing into my head and I continued to type them with such quickness. I got scared when I found myself stuck in the middle of the construction but I didn't let a second be put into waste and so I pushed myself further hoping I could go beyond what I expected of myself and I did.

     I came back on track and as the other contestants have their essays printed out, I was there, still glued on my chair aiming for perfection. Then, it was just me and the girl on the other side of my computer table. I was asking myself how the others finished so fast when I was still in the process of editing my work. I immediately brushed off the question and got back to the thinking lane until I had the final period of my essay typed. I saved my work and had it printed out for the judges to criticize. As the contest facilitators handed my final work, I was aware that everything was out of my hands now. I came out from the room feeling like my energy was sucked out of me. I was so giddy I wanted to go to bed. I proceeded straight to the teacher's lounge and asked for Ms. Dina. I told her all about my essay and she seemed confident with what I did.

     I was also confident but along with it were my doubts.

     It was 12 in the afternoon. After taking the free lunch the school provided, all I needed was to wait for the results. Hours have passed, I was on the gym waiting anxiously for the results. The wait reminded me of what the competition asked the writers to write about. We were asked to write about the unpredictable results of competitions and how it affects a person. 

     Well, first of all, competitions drive me crazy!

     I mean, I appreciate the adrenaline and anxiety but if you mix these emotions together, it could result to total insanity. 

     Anyway, I waited more than 7 hours for the result to be announced and let me tell you, it was the longest wait I have ever made in my life. I waited so long I became very temperamental my friends who also waited for the results couldn't talk to me. I would either just nod my head to answer a yes or no question or simply remain silent as if nobody was talking to me at all.

     The 3rd and 2nd places were called and it was the time for the champion to be announced. I bowed my head down, I started to breathe heavily and whispered to myself "God its all in your hands now". Despite the cheers surrounding me, I was in deep silence. I was getting myself ready for the worst case scenario. Then after a few seconds of heavily breathing, my school was called. I lifted my head up and jumped so high I thought I was going to fly. I hurt my right knee though because of the jump I made which in fact destroyed the moment for a second but pure joy rushed through my veins and I somehow managed to brush the pain off.  As I was limping my way on stage, I kept telling myself "I won" as the audience cheered for my victory.

     I couldn't describe what I was feeling at the moment but I guess that's how it feels like to actually win a competition. I was more than excited to get the trophy and my medal. I was smiling the whole time and I couldn't ask for a better moment than that.

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