Close wins and glimmers of greatness.

The singles tournament is upon us and has me thinking about myself as a competitor. I try not to get frustrated after almost two seasons of minimal wins and constant defeats. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. Opening the season live in New York, holding my own with the greats in the Free 4 All, an awesome teams debut with Ethan and an impressive showing at Collision. Yes I’ve made a name for myself in the Schmoedown; it’s just hard not to say, “but who cares? No big deal, I want more,” am I right Ariel?

I go into every match thinking it could be the moment where I burst out of the middle of the pack to pull the upset, to no longer be the underdog, to get people talking AND shut people up all at the same time. So it’s hard when, what feels like every time, I come up short. It’s difficult not to get down on myself or to feel like I’ve wasted opportunities to reach the belt or even a contender’s spot.

But if I want more, I have to do more. I’ve done pretty well on minimal studying and base knowledge. But the Schmoedown has become a new beast, with fresh batches of hungry and naturally knowledgeable competitors, on top of ones who take studying to another level. While luck is a big part of succeeding, it’s no guarantee and not something to rely on. So enters a study plan into my daily routine.

If I wasn’t already intimidated enough by the caliber of competitors in the tourney, my journey starts backwards facing Mike again. I’m sure he’s not happy about having to take a step back himself to someone he’s already defeated. He’s on a hot streak and “Mikey 3 belts” is the new mission. I’m sure there are few who even see me as a threat to that mission. But I refuse to let myself focus on or care about any of that. I need to make this about me and MY mission.

While my confidence comes in ebbs and flows, I plan on going into the tourney fists up and ready to fight. I don’t intend to make a win easy for anyone. If things don’t go my way, I’ll know I went out swinging and I can feel good about that. The struggle to not get down about my standing in the league is real, but so is my determination to win.

Is this my moment? Or will I falter yet again? Whatever happens, the Machine never stops. To quote yet another Disney Princess, “There’s been trials and tribulations, you know I’ve have my share, but I’ve climbed a mountain and I’ve crossed a river and I’m Almost There!”

~ Machine


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