Sunday Musings #174

“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” according to the losers and their parents.

– Unknown


While I think this quote is amusing, it does have a grain of truth!

I have three older siblings and growing up there was no way I could ever win any game we kids played.

Playing chess or any card game with my Dad or older brother was always an exercise in patience for me. They took so long to move a chess piece that I’d play kamikaze chess just to finish the game! (ie deliberately kill myself as quickly as possible just to end this!)

So, yes, I had to learn to enjoy playing the game, because I was never ever going to win.

Gondolier 1

I never won physical things at school either, because I was young in the year and on the small side.

That is why I clearly remember my school sports day when I was eight years old.

The girls in our year ran what they quaintly called “The 80 Yard Dash”. We all lined up at the start and off we went.

I remember my little feet pounding down the grass lane while my glasses bounced up and down on my nose, making the field in front of me dance around too.

My friend W was to the left of me. Tall and swift she soon outstripped me and was in the lead, but I kept on running for all I was worth.

I saw W reach the white tape at the end of the race. Then she simply stopped!Β All the parents at the side of the track were shouting at W to cross the tape!

My little feet still pounding away, I caught up. I had no such hesitation at the tape and ran straight through it. I was first!

W suddenly realised what all the parents were shouting at her, did a quick skip, and crossed the line second.

I went up to W after the race and said that it wasn’t fair. Obviously she had won the race; she was at the finish line way before me. W was a lovely girl and just said that yes it was fair, as she should have had the sense to cross the line. I did, so I won.

Gondolier 2

At the end of sports day they handed out the prizes. I won a plastic gondola with tiny gondolier. (Since I don’t have the gondola handy, I stuck my little gondolier onto this dish with some prestik.)

I cherished this prize for years. The gondolier’s lost his pole and the gondola, I think, is in the top of my wardrobe; but when I came across the little man the other day, he still brought back all those memories.

I am sure W went on to win many other races. (I don’t know because we moved and I never saw her again.)

As for me; that was the only race I ever won my entire life. Even though I felt I won by default, it still meant a lot to me: enough to keep the tiny gondolier all these years!



26 thoughts on “Sunday Musings #174

  1. A Curious Introvert

    Love the quote, your wonderful story and first place finish!πŸ™‚ Although, it did remind me that as the youngest I’ve never been a fan of most board games and, even though I would eventually play many sports, how much I disliked sports day in elementary school!😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Naturarian

    What a great story!
    Although I don’t have kids, I do see the signs at the parks (sports fields) about ‘parents maintaining their patience’ with their kids.
    It’s just too much pressure for them at that age. πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      The Dad’s are usually the worst! One hockey match we were watching my daughter play in, a Dad was constantly shouting to his daughter to get this ball and that ball, till in the end she shouted back at him, “I can’t fly!” πŸ˜€
      I also think some parents forget that kids need Down Time too – not to be rushed form one extra-mural to the next.


  3. C C Cedras

    What a sweet story! If I’d played chess with your dad or brother, I’d have ended myself, too. Just sayin. I was never athletic, I was an only child until 9 and lived in a mostly rural area. My only chance to play games or sports that take more than one person was at school. But, I hit junior high (middle school) Kennedy and then Johnson established the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge. There were goals for all sorts of exercise and sports activities and I could never hit any of them. I’ve never been able to do one pull-up. Not one. I wish I’d had a friend like W.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you – and for understanding the chess thing! πŸ˜€
      I don’t know why there was such stress on PE at school. It’s good to exercise, but it should be to your capabilities – and it should be fun! πŸ™‚
      And I can’t do a pull up either! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Garfield Hug

    That is a well prized keepsake and It brought back a great memory for you. W is a really good friend and it is pity you lost touch with her i am sure she remembers you too! Happy Mother’s day! Unsure if SA celebrates it like us todayπŸ’•πŸ₯‚πŸŒΉ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you very much. πŸ™‚
      It is hard to stay in touch when you are so young. I lost many good friends when we moved then. I don’t know if they ever think of me, but I remember them all with fond affection. πŸ™‚
      Yes it is MD here in SA. Thank you for your good wishes. πŸ˜€
      And Happy Sunday to you too. Maybe you are taking your Mum somewhere special – I am behind today and haven’t read any posts yet!! πŸ™‚


  5. Murphy's Law

    Have you ever considered that W hesitated crossing the finish line because she knew you were next in line behind her? Perhaps she wanted her friend, you, to win!! But even if that’s not the case, those little pounding feet and bouncing eyeglasses would’ve brought you in second. You were definitely a winner that day Sci because you fought against the odds and never gave up. πŸ‘ πŸ‘ ✌️
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      haha No, W was in it to win it. πŸ˜€ We all were – She just didn’t know she had to run through the tape! πŸ˜€
      But thank you for your kind words.
      I was taught, and taught my kids, just do your best, whatever that may be. It is all anyone can do. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mistermuse

        Well, it was ALMOST a heartwarming story (I almost wish you hadn’t ‘spoiled’ it by saying “she didn’t know she had to run through the tape” — maybe I’ll just pretend you didn’t say that)!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. scifihammy Post author

        I think everyone is forgetting – we were only 8 years old! πŸ˜€
        To me the heart-warming part of the story is that W was so gracious in her technical defeat. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Murphy's Law

        Sci, this is both funny and sad. But I gotta tell you, I like my version better! Hahahah! I absolutely agree with you….all we can do is try our best, no matter the task at hand, and that’s exactly what you did.

        🌻🌺Happy Mother’s Day!🌹🌸 If you don’t celebrate MD in SA, then I hope you’ll join your sisters in the USA and claim today for yourself! πŸ€—
        🐾Ginger 🐾

        Liked by 1 person

      4. scifihammy Post author

        haha That’s fine, but I still like how W was such a good sport. πŸ˜€
        Thank you for the MD greetings. Yes it was MD here in SA. I hope you had a good one too. πŸ™‚


  6. colinandray

    I remember a sports day when, as a result of me not volunteering for any event, was allocated “The Mile” (4 laps of the school track). I was in last place at the end of the first lap … and lost ground as the race progressed such that I was on my own in lap 3, so I decided to finish then … but I was not allowed to as everybody was shouting “keep going … you have 1 more lap to go!” Peer pressure dictated I ran that final lap. I was on my own!

    Liked by 1 person

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