7th April 2019, Sunday.
This day struck excitement for some, but rendered fear for many. It was the day of reckoning, judgement of a year’s worth of sweat, blood and tears. A lot was dependent on today, and the stress was immeasurable.
At the crack of dawn, the phone alarm rang through the silent morning, and on the screen it reminded us that today was ACIC and CASNCC, the yearly affair that tested our determination, our mettle, and our ability to do what we do.
Many turned in early the night before, in hopes of getting a good nights sleep. But ironically, everyone barely got a wink of sleep, in anticipation of the day to come.
Tired, groggy, and dazed, we pulled ourselves out of bed. As we looked in the mirror for the first time that day, we expected to find a half-asleep creature, as we would any other regular day.
But it was not any other day.
As always, we arrived early to the competition. “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
― Robert Schuller
Gears on smiles on, we were raring to warm-up.
“It was a regular day. No different from any other training. Nothing odd, nothing special.”
These phrases were commonly exchanged during the warm-up. The effort to calm the nerves and to pretend that it really was just a regular day was commendable . But in the cool morning breeze, everyone could feel the unmistakably tense and jittery atmosphere.
Few words were spoken. In our mind, everyone knew what needed to be done.
The preparation process included looking fresh and ready to fight the battle ahead. Girls did their hair and makeup to look their best for the judges.
Comforting words and laughter lightened the mood, and calmed the nerves just a little.
Time works in a funny way. During happier times, it zooms right past without having the chance to appreciate the moment. While waiting to perform a 2 and a half minute routine, made up of a year of pain and suffering, it goes at a painstakingly slow pace.
Sitting around, twiddling thumbs, and reading text messages were some of the ways we used to pass the uncomfortable experience.
But alas, there was no avoiding the imminent… The final moment approached.
Walking through the terminal passage, anxiety and unease started to build. Palms became sweaty, and a lump started to grow at the back of the throat, making it difficult to talk. It also seemed impossible to stop shaking. Gosh
Reflecting on all the sacrifices made up to this moment, everyone knew… that there were only 2 outcomes.
The crowd roared. The Hall shook. The applause deafening.
It was a good feeling. It was a validation and acknowledgement of what they had put out. And we knew, the audience was entertained. Individually, it comforted us. We feared a silent audience at the end. Thankfully, it was not the case.
And just like that, 2 and half minutes was over. And just like that, another year, another season was over.
But the question lingering on everybody’s mind was… was it enough?
Nevertheless, it was a huge relief.
No more struggles, no more uncertainty. Nothing more could be done, and it soon it was time to rest.
We could only wait and hope we did our best, and that our best was enough.
“And the Champion…
of ACIC and CASNCC 2019 …
TEAM WILDCARDS !!”
It rang in our heads again and again. It was euphoria.
No words can adequately describe the feeling.
We cried, hugged each other, and cheered like there was no tomorrow. For tomorrow didn’t matter. Nothing else matters. What mattered was… that our hard work had paid off. That we achieved our goal we set a year ago, as a team.
The sweet feeling of victory, unmistakable, unforgettable.
The beast claims yet another victory.
For now, we rest.
And prepare again for the next battle in the upcoming season ahead.
#10, we’re coming for you.