The last few weeks had been a whirlwind of activity and emotional ups-and-downs.
Both my academic results and sporting achievements have been a source of
tremendous joy and pride to me. Of course, the road to such accomplishments has
not been without their stumbling blocks.
The first thing that had happened was
my school team's participation in the National Schools' Hockey Championship. I
was part of the team which trained very hard in anticipation of our final clash
with traditional rival SMK Victoria. We knew from the start that it would be a
difficult match. Our rivals boasted at least six state representatives in the
game and we were understandably daunted. Yet, we trained consistently for long
stretches every day, hoping that the standard we reach would be sufficient to
defeat Victorians. On the much-anticipated day, we stepped onto the pitch with
great trepidation. Initially, our performance suffered from nervousness and
anxiety. Luckily for us, we managed to shake them off and play at the standard
we were capable of. The match eventually ended in a 3-0 win for us. We were
jubilant! I had gone down on my knees in tears, overpowered by the victory to do
anything else. My team-mates were jumping onto each other on the pitch, yelling
hysterically. The moment of hoisting the trophy above us on the winners' rostrum
was a fine moment of pride and exhilaration. It was a moment I would never
The next few days saw me going through the motions of school in a dreamlike
state. I could not help but feel a wonderful sense of well-being. The
delirium was further buoyed up when my
teacher-in-charge of hockey came to me and informed me that I had been selected
to train with the national team. I was thrilled to bits! Imagine being told that
you are good enough to play for the country! I was in seventh heaven, my active
imagination already creating scenarios of me weaving my way past defenders of
traditional powerhouses in hockey to score the all-too-crucial winning goal.
However, when training actually started a week later, my illusions were laid to
permanent rest. Training with the national team meant a first-hand acquaintance
with the superior skills and fitness level of experienced players. I was
daunted, but not defeated. I resolved to put in more effort to polish up my
skills so as to don the national colors one day. Instead of being demoralized, I
was motivated. It felt very good to know that I would have a hand in carving out
my own destiny in hockey.
However, as a result of my enthusiasm in proving myself in hockey, I ended up
neglecting my studies. Instead of being one of the top three scorers in the
school mid-year examinations as usual, I barely clinched the second-last spot.
When I saw my name so far down on the list, my mind
convulsed with horror. How could this be? I had expected a slide in
the results, but certainly not a plunge! My face was warmed with embarrassment
and my hands shook as I read my report book.
After school, I ran all the way home and threw myself onto my bed. It took
four whole hours for me to cry all that anguish and humiliation out of my
system. After that catharsis, I got up and
resolved to rectify matters. I sat at my desk and proceeded to work out a
timetable for revising my school work. The next week before the re-examination
was grueling. But I could stand tall at the end of it because I had not only
managed to regain my previous academic standard but also improved on my ranking.
I was now second in class!
In the space of a mere few weeks, I have found myself in the heights of glory
and euphoria as well as in the depths of despair and fatigue. Looking back, I
feel that it had all been worth it. I have proved to myself that I am able to
muster all my courage and determination to overcome obstacles. This is a
confidence that I know will stand me in good stead in my future endeavors.