I have eleven medals hanging in my room and all of them are a lie.
There are three that say I won a race on sports day, one in the year 2007, another in 2012 and then in 2015. What I remember of these races is that two of them were relay races, the one where you were divided as a team into two sides, and one player from one side had to hand a stick to the player on the other side.
I remember telling the fastest runner on my team, the only way we can win is if she goes first. We won.
There are three medals that say ‘winner’ on them for participating in a throwball tournament. I remember being at the tournament but I do not remember playing. The game required a team of seven and I was always put as number eleven. An extra if they needed one. The one who would only be called to play if the team on the opposite side was surely beatable.
Our school had a reputation for being unbeatable and we were. Since I wore the uniform of the same school I was thought to be one of the best. I was not.
There are two that say I achieved something in the days when I used to row. A bronze and a silver. The former was only hung around my neck because there were only three teams and we finished the race last. The latter was only achieved because I was part of a team that was already destined for a medal and maybe if they replaced me, it would have been gold.
There are three golds that say I was a winner at different sports events in my university. I assure you in none of them did I ever play. Either it was a walk-over or I was the only one who signed up in that sport, but it was never as if I had earned it.
There is one that hangs with the flag of my country. It says 5km for the marathon I participated in on 23rd March 2021. The medal was given to all who were able to finish the race.
Out of all of these, there is only one I achieved on my own. The one I got in 2007. It was the shirt and cap race. Where you first had to race to wear a t-shirt then race further to wear a cap/hat and then race to the finish line.
I came second.
Being second is the bitter truth of my life. It tells me I ‘almost’ had it, I only needed a bit more effort, a little more hard work and I would have got it.
But I never do.
In everything I’ve done, I’ve always been second. For I’ve been the one that has the potential but needs a little more effort. I’ve been told I’m ‘above than average’ but yet my achievements never match my expectations.
Now I’ve dared to set another goal in life. Become a best-seller author.
It’s ambitious and far-away but I’ve made it my end goal. For this is the one thing that I want to make sure I get.
I don’t know if I ever will fulfill it but what I do know is that I don’t want to be told ‘you almost had it.’