The Shooting Star 

“I believe in speed, not endurance.”

The statement above isn’t really wise in the long run (pun, if you get it! Haha.) both literally and figuratively, because to go far you need more than just a brilliant streak. You’d need sustained brilliance, and that is how it ensures you do not burn out or die off too early. You can ask Usain Bolt, he’s the fastest man on earth but he sure has endurance and he trains on his endurance in order to train his burst and speed. 

However, some people are really like the statement above and they do believe in it. It’s not their fault, but that’s just how they are and that’s how they think. They are like a brilliant flash, and after that they fade into oblivion but leave a lasting effect.

Think of a shooting star. You never see them around much, but when you see one.. It illuminates the night sky and it illuminates your life too. It appears when you least expect it to, and many a time it appears when you’re dozing off after waiting too long hoping to catch it, but with the little bit of energy you have left.. You’re filled with joy and ecstasy as you see it grace the night sky while you hurry to make a wish.

And then, it’s gone. That’s it. It came, it shone, and it left without saying goodbye. But you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. 

Some people are like that. They are not for the long run; they are for the moment. They are not here to stay, but while they’re here they make a huge impact and make their presence felt. They’re like shooting stars. They are speed, not endurance.

I’m starting to think this post doesn’t make much sense, but I think we all sort of get the idea. I’m sure you have someone who came into your life, changed the way you see the world, and left pretty much as sudden as they came. 

The world had them in Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and many more.. and we all have them in our own worlds, albeit at a scale smaller to the world but no less significant to us.  

Who in your life do you think would say something like that?

Competitiveness

I don’t mean Usain Bolt, or Michael Phelps, or even Djokovic; I mean the everyday guy who plays to win all the time. 

To speak of champions like Schumacher, Sampras or Earl Anthony and discuss their competitiveness is to say a modern Ferrari is quite fast; these people epitomise what it means to have the passion for their sport, and the desire to win. What is more interesting for today would instead be to talk about the competitiveness of the daily Joe and how he seems to want to win in everything.. even casual mealtime table soccer. 

There is a naturally high streak of competitiveness in some people, and their eyes burn with the desire to win in almost everything they do. They seek to do better than everyone else in academics, in appearing smarter during conversations, in running a quarter mile, in a friendly game of football.. in everything really. 

It can cause people to want to play for / against them because it adds an edge to the team or the overall game, or it can cause people to respond otherwise in that it causes the game to be too serious, and takes the fun away due to the tension caused. I’m sure there’s someone in your head right now. How do you feel about thy person?

You can’t blame him really; it’s something in born in him that he can’t really control. It’s like a chemical in him that gets activated when a situation calls for competition. It’s quite like adrenaline: it pumps naturally and when he’s in the zone, his eyes are fixated only on winning. He doesn’t play; he plays to win. And that’s just how he is naturally. 

However, (there always is a however) that person’s competitiveness, or rather over-competitiveness can be a hindrance to himself because it would mean defeat comes at a much larger impact to him. He would likely not be one to take defeat lightly upon himself, and it is likely to affect him more than others. This could be a good thing if it drives him to push himself to better his abilities, but if it seeks to demotivate or derail him.. then it really isn’t ideal. Depending on who he is, it could have an equally astonishing positive or negative impact.

Besides this, it would also make him much more individualistic. His fixation on victory would result in very much a singlemindedness in him, and he will push himself in a way that he would be nearer to winning than losing. This drive is often running only in himself, and thus would very much single him out in casual or friendly settings. But of course if you have a whole group of people like that put together.. You get Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona or Manchester United. 

So you can’t stop the competitive guy from being competitive because he is just being himself, something that is naturally in him. You could remind him to kick back and chill once in awhile, but overall you need to accept him for who he is. He is very much a game spoiler if taken wrongly but chances are.. He’s the game changer if you know how to exploit this zeal in him.

Are you someone like that?

Til Then, Adieu

(I’ve reserved this blog for anything but long paragraphs of prose, but for this dedication post I shall break that rule for once. Hope you enjoy it, its an attempt at a sentimental piece)

“One..! Two..! Three..! Four..! Five..!”

I hear the students out in the parade square, counting as they warm up with head rotation exercises, jumping jacks, push ups and bountiful of energy. I have been hearing this every morning for the past month now, sometimes while sitting in the staffroom figuring out a history source or literature text, other times while conducting the morning PE lessons standing at the head of the class.

Today’s the second last morning for the year that I would be listening to this lively bunch skipping counts (at times) as they stretch and prepare for the fitness and games that are to come, and I can’t help but gaze from the second storey to see all that I will miss after I clear my desk and sign off for the last time tomorrow afternoon. I’ve grown to like what I hear now, and I’ve grown to enjoy the times I have around this tiny little campus we call Evergreen, Our School. Be it the classroom or the canteen, I feel that there is something so right in this place.

I just heard the bell go for my next lesson, so I suppose this post has to have a closure anytime now. I guess all (good) things must come to an end, be it this post or this internship, much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise sometimes. I shall head into the classroom and tell my students that my stint with the school is coming to an end, and I believe those who have tested me most and challenged me greatest will be the ones hardest to let go of.

To all in the staffroom, classroom and around the school, I hope you’ve enjoyed my company and loved me as much as I’ve enjoyed your company and loved you all in this short period of time we have spent together. As they say, goodbye does not mean we’ll never meet again..

‘Til then, adieu.

Do / Can You ?

(5 min challenge let’s go)

An encouragement note signed off ‘all the best and good luck’
Sounds like something nice to have on a Prelude to A Major (exam)
Where indeed it will lift spirits and keep the positivity level high
And bring about revived hopes and ambition if before it did hibernate;

The ball is in your court waiting for you to take a clear shot:
The space between the net and the baseline is sufficient for a good return so
Prepare your forehand (or back if you prefer) and let the two connect,
Without fear you swing your arm in a circular fashion and watch the ball arrive;

Do you see the ball fly and the notes soar?
Can you hear the crowd cheer and the melody sing?

The Game

(5 min challenge let’s go)

It makes me sad to look over beyond the corridor
To see the raindrops fall seamlessly onto the ground
Where the baseline vanish under the blur of the shower
And a stray ball lies lonely at the centre of the court;

The thought of being over there is thrilling to no end:
To hear the ball come off the tension of the racket face,
To feel the repulsion of it neatly off a decent forehand
And to watch the ball fly across the net – cross-court;

With every ace scored and ball returned
The game gets better and the shots get stronger,
Driven by sheer passion and vast determination
Sets are won and lost where hearts are mended and spirits lifted;

The game goes beyond the court:
It runs with us and lives in us.

Love is still for the opponent.