When I was in the first grade, my favorite day of the year was Field Day. The fresh cut grass. The birds singing. The sun shining at that special angle of spring that announced that the school year was almost over.
I loved it all, from the Shoe Scramble to the 60 Yard Dash. So I was surprised when on the night before the big event I could not sleep.
“I can’t sleep,” I said as I walked into my parents’ bedroom.
“You are just excited,” my mom responded, talking into her pillow. “Go back to bed.”
And I did.
Looking back at this anecdote, I am so impressed. Talk about Olympic potential. Without turning her head, or raising her voice, or threatening to take an iPad away, my mother managed to make a 6 year old go back to bed.
But she was wrong about one thing. I wasn’t excited. I was nervous. I was terrified, really. I had entered a dozen or so events and I was afraid that I might not win every single one of them.
The specter of a red ribbon had motivated me to train for several weeks. I practiced the three-legged race at lunchtime with my friend Sara, and made sure each day to eat a large breakfast of “nutritious” Donutz cereal as directed by this effective television commercial.
In retrospect, I should have been less focused on winning and more worried about all the refined sugar and BHT that I was eating.
In the end, I did fall asleep. I think I did win most of the races, including the three-legged one in which Sara and I kicked it like Flo Jo.
Alas, this sweet taste of crushing athletic domination was not to be repeated. The next year the rules changed and each student was only allowed to enter two events. A few years after that, things got even worse when cruelly, and in unison, the boys all got a lot faster. That fateful day in fourth grade when Deano and Paul both crossed the finish line in front of me, even though I was running my fastest, marks the first big, WTF?! moment of my life.
Accepting the reality of biological difference on the sports field, I ceded defeat to the boys. Later, accepting the reality of my own very low pain tolerance, I ceded defeat to everyone else.
Yet, as is evidenced by the maturity level and unabashed self aggrandizement in some of my posts, that six year old with a thirst for victory is alive and well. And now with “Blogger Idol” I have found a competition that is at least as exciting as a first grade running race.
I am applying to be included in the group of 12 contestants who will compete each week to become the Blogger Idol Ultimate Winner.
What’s more, by participating I could win prizes, including a gift certificate for a blog management service, or six months of free razors, and pack of bacon brownies. All this without having to pay any additional shipping and handling! And really, I have won already. This contest has inspired me to make a MotherJam Facebook page, and to get on Twitter.
My blog may only be six months old, but naturally, this title is something I have been yearning for my whole life. In any event, I plan to have a field day with this.
Alternatively, I would be psyched if anyone could tell me how to find another bowl of Donutz.