Sunday, January 23, 2011

Defeated Victory

The worries and troubles of the day were just starting to melt away as the half-time buzzer rang. The score board was tied, 20-20. We could do this. It was the first game I had actually wanted. The starters headed out and got into position. Swish, swish, swish, the battle on the score board continued. We stacked in a line as we passed the ball in. One person swung out to the right, the other to the left, I ran straight ahead and then quickly backwards. Sweat was rolling down my bright red face, as I put my hand over my heart unsure of how much longer it could take. I began to feel faintish, sure to hurl at any minute. 6 minutes left in the game, I could hold out. I immediately began to have flashbacks to the longest run I've ever ran. I thought of how much of a struggle it was, but how accomplished I felt afterwards, and I decided it was worth the fight, so I kept running. They were up by 2 now, the ball was passed in and we headed down the court. Swish, 3 points, we were up by one. Swish, they were up by one. And so it continued. We found ourselves down by 1 in the last 45 seconds of the game, but not for long. Swish, we were up by 2, there was 7 seconds left, we were all convinced we had it. None of us were ready for the screen that came next and the shooter that popped out. BEEP! The buzzer screetched as the ball left the hands of the player and flew through the air. SWISH! 3 points. I looked unbelieveable at the score board.

Home: 49 Guest: 48

All of that for nothing. We had lost. We could no longer call ourselves "undefeated." We were done for. I felt dizzy and lightheaded. My heart was pounding in my chest. The stench from the concession stands, mixed with all the water I had drank and ran on, were making me feel nauseous. I was dissapointed.
I began to wonder if it had been worth the effort. But then I thought about how close we had come. What a great defeat it would have been. How the last shot was straight from the movies and nothing but pure luck. I knew we had done our best, and that's all you can give. For the first time we had all been in it to win it, as a team. We had played well.

People always make the cheesy, cliche, comment of, "Everyones a winner in my heart!" Or something to that extent. But when I look at how far we've come, how close we were, how good it actually was, I feel accomplished. In fact, I really do feel like the winner.

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