I look at this term like a 4×100 relay in Track and Field. The first month is like the first leg – Everyone is excited, gung ho, anticipating the start of the race. The gun starts and everyone is just flying out of the blocks.
During the first 100 metres you’ll begin to notice the group break up into leaders followers and laggers. Then the baton is handed over to the second 100 meters.
As an Olympic enthusiast I’ve never paid attention to the second 200 meters for some reason. I don’t know why. But usually, people who do well in the second leg usually end up in the top three. All of a sudden the baton is passed to the third leg of the race where things get really hectic and stressful.
The third leg is usually the defining moment where the winners are separated from the losers. More often than not, this is where batons are dropped, racers collide, people collapse and runners overstep their baton passing zone. Critical errors are made here that can seriously affect the outcome. And the third leg is where these mistakes come out because of the stress.
The fourth and final leg – the home stretch. The finish is in sight at you have your competitors alongside. Those who screwed up the second leg are usually running and 6-8th Place whereas the 1-4 spots are gunning for the top three.
Those in the top three have a choice to make. Should they go all out to get the win or should they coast and settle for second or third place? Should they stretch themselves to the brink of collapse to break the tape? Should they look at their competition?
Those that make the choice to stretch themselves usually find themselves as winners of the race, all tired, worn out with a huge grin in their heart and their face wincing in pain at the same time.
Basically, that’s the way things have gone for me during the past three months: I’ve been running a huge 4×100 race during this second term of my time here at Capilano. It started off with huge excitement and anticipation, me flying straight out of the bricks. The second month… I don’t know where it went! But I got my work done anyway and had fun in Hawaii. I just completed the third month… full of projects, midterms, tests and presentations – so many places where I could have screwed up my chances at finishing well. But I think I’m okay. I don’t feel like I’ve failed miserably so the good marks are within striking distance. I just have to make that choice.
Of course, I could just coast. If I coast and put in a couple of hours to study for the exam, I can come out with with a 73%-74%. Not bad… but not good either. But if I push myself to exhaustion… I think I can get those A’s again. They’re within striking distance. I can break the tape if I just make the most of my time the next little while and study hard.
Also, the danger of coasting… if you didn’t realize that you screwed up in the 2nd or 3rd legs, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise… Sometimes you won’t be able to finish the race… and drop out!
I won’t coast. I want those grades again. I have to work hard to get them.