How It Feels To Stand At The Bottom Of The Podium

How It Feels To Stand At The Bottom Of The Podium

Turning humiliation into determination
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The buzzer sounded, the referee blew his whistle, and the match ended. In that instant, a tsunami of emotions began to wash over and the realization that the long season was over started to set in. After shaking hands with my opponent and his coaches, I slowly walked back to my coaches with my head hanging in disappointment. Everything I had worked so hard for felt like it had slipped out of my grip.

With shaking hands and trembling legs fraught with exhaustion, I made my way to the back corner of the arena, laid down on my back, and began to cry. The feeling was overwhelming and debilitating. As I laid there, I reflected on the immense feeling of failure that persisted within me. How could I have let this happen? Everything I had sacrificed and striven to accomplish that season, gone to waste in a matter of minutes. Yes, I had managed to earn a medal, but there was little consolation in knowing it was as good as the last place. I didn't feel deserving; instead, I felt lucky, and that made the defeat even worse.

Later that night during the medal ceremony, my name was called first and for a moment, I felt a twinge of pride. However, once everyone else was standing on the podium, I realized that I was the only one who had to stand on the floor. That small feeling of pride was instantly replaced with embarrassment and shame.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the other medal-winners smiling and reveling in their achievement. My dulling sadness was again replaced by something new: a newfound sense of determination. I remember looking up to the ceiling and swearing to myself that next season would be different. Next season, I would stand on that podium no matter what.

Every wrestler dreams of winning a state championship, but few ever see that dream realized. I was one of those dreamers; training and grinding every single day in hopes of seeing it come to fruition. In the end, although I did not achieve that dream, I did achieve something perhaps even more important.

My junior year, I placed sixth in the wrestling state championships and had to stand on the floor next to the podium. My following senior season, I held true to my promise and placed fifth. While a one place increase doesn't seem like much, it made all the difference in the world.

Sometimes, we cannot accomplish the large goal we so hoped to, but we can take what we come away with and turn it into something more meaningful. Everyone wants to succeed, and if a person finds a way to achieve a little more each day, than every measure of success can be found. Determination is simply the difference between standing on the floor and standing on the podium.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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20 Things LESS Exciting Than Hearing 'Dixieland Delight' Again At Bryant-Denny

Yes, "Dixie" is free but have you ever thought about what would students dread to face on campus too?

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Freeing "Dixieland Delight" was probably more exciting to Alabama fans than winning a national championship. OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but nothing will ever beat the feeling of the fourth quarter of the Missouri game and hearing the first beat of that song.

If you don't believe me, here are 20 things that were LESS exciting than hearing "Dixieland Delight" playing at Bryant Denny Stadium.

1. Finding a good parking spot on campus

2. Waking up and seeing that your class is cancelled 

3. Seeing free T-shirts being passed out

4. Getting an A on a midterm

5. Receiving free food

6. Going to bed before 12 midnight

7. Doing all your homework BEFORE class

8. When your parents deposit money in your bank account

9. Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring and summer break

10. A gameday in the South

11. Seeing a dog on campus

12. Going to Starbucks and seeing no line

13. Finding the exact quizlet you need

14. Walking in to a class prepared for a test

15. Working out... in college...

16. Talking to your parents on the phone

SEE ALSO: 23 Things You Call Your Mom For In College

17. Facetiming an old friend from back home

18. Getting a care package from your parents

19. Being well rested 

20. Winning a national championship

In case you forgot, these were things that don't even compare to hearing "Dixieland Delight" and actually singing it to the top of your lungs with thousands of people. Now that "Dixie" is free, maybe Alabama fans will now stay for all four quarters.

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Michigan’s Race For Governor: The Debates

With only a few weeks away from midterms, it's time to get serious.

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In October, Michigan will see two televised gubernatorial debates. The first will be hosted in Grand Rapids, and take place on October 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. The second will be hosted in Detroit, and take place on October 24, 2018 at 8 p.m.

As the victors of their respective parties in the August primaries, Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer will meet to debate critical issues, such as infrastructure, immigration, environmental concerns in the Great Lakes, and where the candidates stand on the controversial topic of recreational marijuana use and legalization.

For the voters looking to get a better understanding of each candidate's positions, both Schuette and Whitmer participated in primary debates that were broadcast leading up to the primaries. These debates are still accessible to the public on YouTube.

On May 9, the Attorney General toted his endorsement from President Trump, using it to land credit with a growing base within Michigan's Republican Party. Schuette swept the Republican primary with apparent ease in August, defeating Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley by a 2 to 1 margin.

At the Democratic gubernatorial debate on June 20, former Senator Gretchen Whitmer presented herself as a well-rehearsed candidate. She stressed the importance of rebuilding Michigan's roads, among other issues.

She went on to defeat Shri Thanedar—an entrepreneur, and Abdul El-Sayed—a former director of the Detroit Health Department, and favorite among the progressive wing of Michigan's Democratic Party.

Schuette and Whitmer shared the stage together briefly at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference, during the gubernatorial debate portion of the Detroit Regional Chamber 2018 PAC Reception.

Both the Attorney General and former Senator acknowledged other candidates within their parties, but used their speaking time to begin the age-old practice of political mud-slinging. It was clear that both were aware of each other's inevitable place as opponent for governor in November.

The Republican nominee accused his adversary across the aisle of planning to raise taxes and increase regulations across the board. In turn, former Senator Whitmer accused Schuette of claiming that children do not have a constitutional right to literacy.

It remains to be seen whether either candidate will be able to appeal to voters across party lines.

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