Friday, 28 February 2014

Defeat Snatched From the Jaws of Victory

I have quit my job, for the second time. Time to move on, I think. I've been approached by someone else already. We'll see. I may even get the time now to finish my second children's novel, although publishers haven't beaten a path to my door for the first one.

The extreme heat is but a distant memory. Melbourne temperatures have moderated to a mere 20 degrees, vest and shorts de rigeur. My orienteering efforts continue to be enhanced by kinesiology tape. Recommended for all those of a certain age who find that body bits fail or fall off. What I like to refer to as the secret weapon inside my shorts.

Orienteering in Westerfolds Park is warm and welcoming on a Tuesday evening, with a hundred eager folks lined up for Geoff's latest runout. Twenty controls in an hour may be a big ask for an old man, but I make it - just. Eight easy kilometres within the time limit puts me well up the leader board for once.

I have qualified for the Melbourne StreetO Championships at Kensington Banks. Quite a technical area navigationally and I set off in the mass start with confidence. I scamper round my early controls with no mistakes and good routes. I have a feeling that today is going to be my day. How wrong can you be? 

I arrive at my penultimate control to stamp my card, but it is gone! I have dropped it somewhere. I slowly retrace my steps but to no avail. I walk to the finish and report my mishap, receiving universal sympathy. I trudge back to the car to see my main adversaries only then arriving at the finish. C'est la vie. I quote Kipling while punching myself in the face.

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master,
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And, which is more, you'll be a Man, my son! 

Whatever. Defeat snatched once more from the jaws of victory.

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