“Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do”. Society always views wins with hard work, but never a hardworking loss. People want to earn things when they do something right, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Win or lose you tend to understand your rewards even if its a quick tip for the next run. This volleyball game was the clear answer to hardworking loss. As the dust on the court sticks to my hands.
My forearms sear with burning pain and I know there’s only more ahead of me. I hear the crack of the ball as it passes through the blockers and see it heading straight towards me. I quickly react to catch the ball as my bones rattle with contact from the rigid court.
Behind me, I hear my teammates encouraging me to get up as the ball was still in play. Planted to floor, I struggled to rise but as I do, I glance at the scoreboard and remind myself “we still got this”. We never had a chance against them. Although our team is one of the best around, our history of losses against them was too much to grasp that year.
We were nothing but a bump in the road for them. A distressing bump, as my damaged body stands. We didn’t go in thinking we were going to lose. We never prepared to get pulverized. We had a game plan, as we needed a flawless pass, an alluring set to the attacker, and an astonishing swipe that just smooches the opposite court. Their defense lineup, known well for their precision, did not hold up as well as they might have formulated.
Once again I glanced at the scoreboard and we’ve taken the lead. All we needed was a similar plan with the adjustment of switching up and setting to the other attacker on the other side of our court. It was a good idea in theory, but we had to move fast and execute the plan effortlessly. Their defense plowed us with blocks after blocks. Our plan was an utter failure. No matter what I did, what reserves of strength I tried to draw upon myself, they weren’t enough.
I wasn’t fast enough, I just wasn’t good enough. Briefly, I failed, and our team suffered for it. For an entire game, I was flattened over and over as the attackers seemed to be getting stronger with each kill. After the game, I had never felt worst. It wasn’t just the physical pain, with my aches, pains, and burns, aggravating my feelings.
It was a sense of failure, of a personal failure. Had I held my passes and sets as I was supposed to, we would have won. There was no way around it.
Coach said something that completely changed my perspective. He told me he was proud of the way we played. “We did get knocked down, but we never stayed down. There’s no shame in failure, only in never trying.” I’ll never forget those words as I open the doors to my future. Hard work for a loss is better than with a win.
Had we won that day, I would not have have learned anything. Had I been able to hold up and do my job like I was intending, I would still be the same person. By failing, I was able to grow. I could not stop them from coming through my direction on each play, but I did not stop trying. This was the most important detail to what happened. To a person that hasn’t experienced failure, a single setback can be devastating. Failure on the other hand, teaches you how to persevere in the face of adversity.
My experience was painful but because of it, I can apply it to the less physical areas of my life. Because of what I did, and how Coach made me understand its importance. I know that getting knocked down isn’t important, it’s getting back is what counts.