When I was in Form 4, I was the pride of my school's soccer team. Not only was I
lauded as an intelligent team player, I was also the undisputed top scorer in
the schools' national tournament. As a result of this, I grew too big for my
shoes and began to assume an inflated importance that would eventually cause my
downfall as a rising soccer star.
At that time, I had an English Language
teacher who was rather elderly and dowdy.
None of us took her seriously, but she certainly took her job seriously. In
fact, she was so serious about her role as an educator that she took it upon
herself to "save" me from myself. My results had always been among the top
scores in the class, but this soon changed when I became "addicted" to my
morale-boosting victories on the soccer field that I began neglecting my
studies. The teacher, Miss Ram, was immediately alerted and began detaining me
in school after lessons to ensure that I caught up with the rest of the class in
their curriculum. But things did not change.
Finally, she sat me down one day and seriously spoke to me about my future.
Her argument was that good results were necessary even if I was an undisputed
star player on the school team. She advised me to work out my priorities and
concentrate on passing the year instead of spending all my waking hours training
on the field. As she was seriously telling me all these, I was secretly sneering
at her ignorance. After all, what could she possibly know about playing soccer?
I was not even sitting for my SPM this year, so why was she making a big fuss, I
thought crossly to myself. But to her, I was a model of
contrition, nodding my head at the right times to allay her
worries and get her off my back. In the end, she was contented with my remorse
and decided that the detentions were no longer necessary.
After that session with Miss Rani, I went right back to my usual routine,
trainings, trainings and more trainings. Each time I saw her along the
corridors, I would run like a bullet to avoid her lecturing me on my poor
performance in class. I still lived under the delusion
that everything would turn out well because I was a star player. After all,
surely they would take into consideration the fact that I had brought the school
glory in soccer and promote me despite my poor results. In all my worst fears, I
had never imagined that I would even come close to failing. But I did.
I was so preoccupied with my training that I totally neglected my studies.
When the mid year examination results were released, I had failed all my
subjects. It was a terrible blow to me, for I had never thought it could happen
to me. To compound the shock, I was immediately suspended from the team. In my
fury at being treated so unfairly after all my dedication to the sport, I
gloated over the fact that they would surely miss my presence on the field.
Unfortunately, I was proven wrong when the school won the national championship,
testifying to the fact that I was not indispensable after all. Regrets began to