There goes my MATHCOUNTS career. Four, maybe even 5 hard-fought years, all for one goal. All down the drain. Well, not really…
First of all, What is Mathcounts? This video summarizes it, as well as the 2013 National competition, in a quick 2 minutes.
So like I said, I’ve been after Mathcounts for 5 years now. It was on my radar in 4th grade, way back when, and in 5th grade I got my great debut. Not exactly a stellar performance, but I did get in the mid-40’s for rank, and as a 5th grader, that’s pretty good.
Sixth grade was my magic year. In a stroke of luck, I led a team from Hunting Ridge, my school to the State Mathcounts competition. Placing 20th in Chapter, I led my team in 5th and 6th grade, including at the state level.
I didn’t know it then, but my luck had run out of gas. And so had I.
7th grade. I enter the harsh conditions of Plum Grove Math Club. If Hunting Ridge Math Club is the Alps middle of the Atlantic, then Plum Grove is Mt. Everest in the middle of the Sahara.
I was confident I could make the team, considering my past performances.
I was so wrong.
Bang, Bang, Bang. As my life at Junior High went on, I got into other things, my mind drifted from Math, and I couldn’t conjure up the strength to make the team. I somehow made the school top 10 and then, with much preparation, went on to get 15th at chapter.
And then I died. Painfully.
No state that year. I was determined to make the team my next year, as well as my last, 8th grade.
I went into the Chapter Competition on February 7th 2015 thinking I had no chance to make state, no chance for a trophy, and that all my dreams were crushed.
Like my dad says, “If you shoot for the moon, you’ll land on the stars.”
I shot for the top the Empire State Building. I crashed into a plane.
I don’t know what it was. Maybe I lost my focus, maybe I tried a new strategy, maybe I just had an off day.
But in the end, what happened doesn’t matter. I got 52nd, lower then what I even got in 5th grade.
So, like I said before, all down the drain. But not really. I’ve learned so much from the Mathcounts program. I’ve made new friends, new enemies, even learned a couple of tricks from the masters.
I’ve been to every Mathcounts competition you can think of in my area since 2011.
There will always be winners, but there are also the losers that jump back up to the ranks of the winners.
Now, I’ve tasted the ashes at the bottom of the fire.
I’ve experienced what it’s like to lose.
But I don’t think that’s all that bad.
I think that this, everything I’ve done for the last 5 years, will help me somehow. Somewhere. Sometime.
But right now my eyes are on the future.
Future competitions. Awards. Trophies to be raised.
Because just because I lost one trophy here, doesn’t mean I can’t go somewhere else and hoist a different one.
Thank You Mathcounts. Hello Future.
I’m coming back,
and this time, this loser will transform, through determination, hard work and a little bit of luck,
into a champion.