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Finding Hope in Failure

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It was a cold, dark morning when the phone rang. It was boisterously loud and the clock read six o'clock. The deafening noise jolted us again, and there was only one way to make it stop. Chris picked up the phone and in a tired, drowsy voice, answered, "Hello."

"Wake up call," I could hear Coach on the other end of the line. "Wake everyone else up in the room and the bus will leave at seven."

"Okay," and with that, Chris hung up the telephone. I could hear him bury his head back into his pillow to try and get just a few more minutes of sleep before the big day.

"C'mon, Chris, you get in the shower first," Taylor ordered from the other bed. "You're already up." Chris conceded and worked his way to the shower. Everyone in the room knew it too, due to his grunting and whining under his breath. Soon enough he was out of the shower and so were Taylor, Anders, and I. We ate breakfast with the rest of the team downstairs in the hotel in silence. It was too early to talk or chat. Everyone knew that one thing was going to be on their minds: winning. It was not worth discussing, either. Everyone knew that our varsity eight was possibly the strongest that McCallie had ever had, and that we had a good chance of winning some gold medals that day, if not a great chance. We loaded on the bus like ants, noiselessly flowing into one little opening. The bus ride was silent all of the way over as well. Everyone's heads, looking intently forward, were slightly jostling along with the bumps in the road. Some tried to sleep, but the tension and excitement was too much for most of them to be successful.

Eventually, we arrived at the race course. Stepping off of the bus, the exhilaration was uplifting as we looked across the sunrise ...

... middle of paper ... are fifty boats in our race, and we got third, now that's not too bad for a busted fin." This did not seem to help, however, as there was no apparent response. "I don't know about you all, but after this, it just makes me want to bust by butt during the off-season to come back here in the Spring and kill them all!" Slowly, but surely, everyone's heads raised. I realized that this was not the end at all. We made a pact to work our hardest to come back in the Spring and win out as much as possible. As the commotion settled, Chris quieted us down, "Okay, come on guys." He put his hand in the middle of the circle. We all followed his lead. "We will not let an unfortunate accident get in our way! We will not settle for third place!" With that we all threw our hands up into the air. I looked around and smelled the breeze. Suddenly it was the best feeling in the world.

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