Last Place Winner

Michael - Burbank, Illinois
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Have you ever heard that when Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb he failed over one hundred times until he finally got it right? As humans we all have failed something in our lives whether it is a paper or even a class; it just happens. What are we supposed to do when we fail? Do we give up and move on to something else or do we get up and dust ourselves off and try again? In my own life, I find that the latter will lead you to success more often and make that success much sweeter. I also think that anyone can quit, but it takes real enthusiasm for a person to continue on through all the failures and finally get to where they want to go.

In high school band I was required to participate in the competition marching band. In marching band I did three things: perform, compete, and practice. As it goes it takes a lot of work to learn a ten to twelve minute show with music and forms. The competitions were typically on Saturdays. On that first Saturday, I went to the competition and was in the very first band to perform that day. Five hours later, the time came for the award ceremony. First up was our class single- A place awards we went through the participation awards and finally came the moment we had all been waiting for, the tension mounted as the announcer sat silent and then said in third place Reavis High school. The once smiling faces of me and fellow band mates disappeared as soon as the announcement was made and many that had been standing were now sitting silently and to a point depressed and embarrassed. It was a heart breaking experience to have practiced so hard and to only have taken third place. However, when I got back on the bus it was not the silent bus ride home I expected. Instead, every member of our band sat down and within five minutes, everyone had begun to sing as happy as if we had won the entire competition. These disappointments would continue for three years until my very last competition when Reavis High school finally won our first, first place award in four years.

In the time I spent in marching band we had many tough practices and even tougher losses. But I never gave up and did not let it get me down. In the next few years a new band director came along and taught that rather than being depressed at every loss we should look at what went wrong and fix it. Also we used our love of music to sing and play music that always kept us going forward. I continued and worked for four years and, finally at my last competition, achieved my goal of winning a first place in a marching competition. Like I mentioned earlier, any person can quit after you fail but it takes real enthusiasm to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.