The agony of defeat; it always starts with some good old-fashioned competition, doesn’t it? It never takes much to get me going. I’ve been an athlete since I was eight years old and I have found my competitive spirit both on and off the field of play. If there is a way to make something a competition I will find it, even when it is stupid, embarrassing or potentially dangerous.
I’ve competed when those around me were not even aware that there was a competition going on. I’ve competed with old people and toddlers. I’ve taken on the weather or time of day as a worthy opponent. But I probably get myself in the most trouble when I throw down with Steve in anything physical. He is 6’4 and I am 5’4. He is 205lbs and I am…….well, let’s just say that I weigh less than that. :-)
Last week we found the time to drive in the last t-posts for our cow fence. The hot summer weather had compacted the soil to such a degree that attempting to set them was impossible. Steve even tried driving them in with the bucket of the tractor……no go. But after several days of rains last week, the soil seemed more amenable to the task.
It didn’t start as a competition, but then ridiculous competitions usually don’t; we headed out with the sole purpose of driving in T-posts. But then I noticed that Steve was counting how many strokes it took him to drive his posts. I wanted in on the action. Game on. Naturally, I paid no attention to the futile nature of this folly. His best number was 9, and mine was 14. I glanced over and saw that there were only six more posts to drive; time was running out. I was determined to tie, or better yet, beat Steve’s best number.
The next post was going to be my glory. There would be a victory dance and a ticker tape parade. I composed myself, adjusted my gloves, took a few deep cleansing breaths, and steeled myself mentally. I lifted the driver high over my head so I could get solid momentum going. With all of my might and muscle I thrust the driver to the post…….only to have it miss almost completely. The driver caught the edge of the post, causing it to hurl straight at my head. It slammed into the top of my head with so much force that I went down like a ton of bricks. Steve ran over. His face was pale and his hands were shaking. He was saying over and over again, “please don’t die, please don’t die……”. I was moved by his warm sentiment until he completed his sentence.
“Please don’t die, please don’t die because there isn’t a judge around who will believe anyone could be so stupid that they could do this to themselves and I don’t want to be charged with murder”
Feel the love people, feel the love.