Lifetimes ago, I was the kid in the ring that encouraged the hardware to define my leverage. It’s embarrassing to think that something that collects dust was such a cake topper for my ego. I had to have it.
There’s nothing wrong with winning, don’t get me twisted. But it’s how you go about it- that’s what really matters. Your person, your heart should be the thing holding your pride, not the plastic cup on top of the trophy tiers.
since high school, I’d say “I really don’t care how skilled or good you are. If your person is Shit- then the rest is shit.”
I’d even go as far as to say that you’re just a shit cake with gourmet sprinkles. Yeah, you got some gems on yeah. Some sugary treats that any person would envy to have- but it’s still on a literal piece of shit and no one wants shit-covered sprinkles.
As I enter the meat of competition seasons, my inner child is heavily reminded of the person I once was. Gross. Egotistical. Consumed. Ridden with faulty pride and fists clenched so tight the whites of my knuckles could burst at any moment. Perhaps I’m too harsh but I was a mentally weak competitor. I’d point and taunt people that practiced arts that looked different than mine. Disrespectful to my competitors. And 2nd place would never do. Forget the honor and privilege I had to be able to travel and compete- no. It’s first place or this whole thing was a waste.
I take great pride in the person I’ve become now. Much more bubbly, happy, and proud but for all the right reasons. I had a little Cobra Kai redemption arc if you will! but a lot of it is due to the people I choose to encourage me. It’s due to my tang Soo do family. They’ve always had kind hearts. Win or lose.
For them, winning is great, losing is fine- but the camaraderie around the experience- that’s really what we want.
I’ve learned to not let the moments of winning or losing tear and rip at my heart and spirit. Because it’s just moments in time that build onto my already great person. It’s like adding sprinkles and candles to an already yummy cake that Grandma made. And you already wanted a piece of that cake before the candles and sprinkles.
All this fluff to say, don’t be a shitty competitor. Don’t taunt and jeer when you get a point. Don’t be disrespectful when you lose. And ESPECIALLY don’t be DISRESPECTFUL when you WIN?! Like, what?! What is that for?! For who?!?!
If you really need that trophy to feel good about yourself then shoot man! I’m glad I lost. I don’t need more luggage but you clearly do. I came here for me, my family, and the art. Everything else is extra because my cake has enough sprinkles to last me a lifetime.
So thanks? As they
say, let them eat cake.
Written 4/30/23 in the car on a rainy day while Master Michael (my lovely bf) drives us home from an unconventional successful nationals.