Success: My First Trophy
Subject: Success, Winning, Sports, Motivation
Victor Antonio G.
Growing up I played a lot of sports: football, basketball, baseball, hockey. Now granted, these were always street sports and never as part of any organized event. As I moved into my late teens I started playing organized basketball. I think I must've traveled to every musty gym on the northwest side of Chicago. The teams I joined were usually with friends I played with on the playground on California and Fullerton avenue.
It wasn't until around the age of eighteen that something struck me. I went over to a friend's house and as we went past the living room I noticed a table off to the corner. On it were what seemed to be a ton of trophies. I stopped and asked my friend about them. He had been playing organized sports as early as he could remember and this was his collection of all his winnings.
It was then that I realized that I had never won a trophy. I told this to my friend. Mistake! From that moment on I was known as the guy who never won a trophy. At the playground he would go out of his way to let everyone at the playground know that I had never won a trophy. Cruel? Yes!
I couldn't wait to win a trophy. I figured it was just a matter of time. But for the next few years, the dream of winning a sport's trophy would elude me. Even in college where I played intramural sports, the prize of winning a trophy never came to fruition. At the age of 23, I graduated with an Engineering Degree which I was very proud of, but nothing could erase the nagging reminder that I still hadn't won a trophy.
When I entered the working world I moved out of state to Minnesota. I didn't see much of my basketball friends after that and have since lost contact with all of them.
At the workplace I was invited to join the company's volleyball, basketball and football team. I really didn't want to play but I did so out of company espirit de corp. But after a few more unsuccessful years of playing and investing my time, still no trophy. I decided to focus on other things; namely my career. My quest for a trophy had come to an end.
One of the things I wanted to focus on were ways of improving myself. It was then that I decided to join a speaking organization, Toastmasters, to improve my communication skills. For those of you not familiar with the organization, the main focus is to help you develop speaking skills through actual speeches you personally develop based on their predetermined format.
The first few speeches were awkward. As I did more of them, I got better. With more practice I got noticeably better. So much so that I was asked to compete at the district speaking competition. I still remember the evening. It was my first time in front of crowd of over 100 people. I had 5-7 minutes to show them what I could do and I was simply hoping that I wouldn't make a fool of myself.
When my turn came, I took a deep breath, took the stage and just did my best. When I was done, I could feel the tension and anxiety leave my body. I received a nice applause and was proud of myself for not "blowing it".
After all the speakers were done, the votes were tallied and the winning speaker was to be announced. When my name was called I was stunned. I wasn't expecting to win. I was simply glad to have survived the ordeal. I got up and went up onto the stage. As I got closer, I saw the presenter holding something. To my surprise it was a...you guessed it, my first trophy. I was 25 years old.
As I drove home with my trophy riding shotgun, I couldn't help fantasizing about how much I wanted to find all my old friends, run up to them and gloat about my first trophy. But that possibility had long since passed as we had all moved on with our lives and had gone our separate ways.
When I got home no one was there, just me and my trophy. I sat down and placed the trophy on my desk in front of me. As I stared at all I could do was shake my head gently as I thought about how funny life can be. It occurred to me how you often find what you're searching for in the most unexpected places. And, when you do find it, there's usually no on around to see you do it. Damn!
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Copyright © 2005 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio G.
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Victor Antonio G., Sales Influence All Rights Reserved 2002-2009,
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