By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
100+ Books in a Year Challenge!
I have a particular trait that acts as a “double-edged” sword—one that has catapulted me towards a lot of my successes and one that has frustrated my mother on a number of occasions.
Can you guess what it is?
If you guessed stubborn, then you’d be rather close.
I prefer to call it tenacity, myself.
If you know me well (which you probably don’t—yet), you’d know that I’m a stickler when it comes to being challenged!
Here’s an example:
When I was in high school in my last year, sitting ever-so focused on the morning lesson dished out by my OAC biology teacher (And when I say, dished, I mean, Petrie!), the morning announcement came on, on the PA system.
You remember those, right? The singing of our national anthem, a list of extra-curricular activities that would take place over the course of the day. Regular stuff.
And then came the announcement:
…Anyone interested in trying out for the Wrestling Team, there’s a meeting in the Mezzanine at 4:30 p.m. New members are welcome…
I barely paid attention. I was engaged in the idea of drawing a cross-cut section of plant skin to scale according to the microscope I knew I’d be staring into for the next hour or so. (I’m not being sarcastic! I really enjoyed Biology.)
But who opened his big mouth? A guy who will remain nameless not because I want to protect his identity, but because he didn’t matter enough to me to remember his name. It’s true. For now, we can refer to him as the guy with the big mouth (as I mentioned earlier).
What did he say when he opened that big mouth of his?
“Hey, Zara…you look like a boy! Why don’t you join the wrestling team?”
(Insert snicker here.)
I turned, then, and stared at him soberly and said quite simply:
And that was that.
At 4:30 p.m., I was the only girl who had the audacity to show up to try-outs for the Boys Wrestling Team. I was met by the coach who clarified that it was a boys team so I answered quite matter-of-factly:
“I know, but if I make this try-out could you at least consider making an exception? Maybe it shouldn’t just be a boys wrestling team.”
Oh, yeah. I had a mouth on me then, too. And the more I faced resistance and obstacles, the more I stood firm in my conviction to follow my instincts. I was challenged by the boy in my biology class and then I was challenged by the head coach of the team!
I don’t think he wanted to make a scene, nor did he want to appear exclusive (though he did have a right to exclude me on the premise that it was indeed a team for boys only), so he let me stay perhaps believing I wouldn’t make the first round.
So, I eyed the bunch in front of me and spotted the team captain—the most fit, the most responsible, the most experienced, and the leader of the pack. He was to become my marker of success and the standard I would place upon myself to meet.
I promised that I wouldn’t lose sight of him. If he ran, I’d run right behind him. If he did 100 Half-Nelsons, then so would I—or kill myself trying. You understand, right?
The try-outs went well. I came in third ranking for fitness, endurance, and flexibility—and in my opinion—sheer force of crazy willpower against the odds.
Long story, short?
I made the team. Other girls were eventually allowed to join as well since I petitioned our high school principal who compromised and agreed if parents and/or guardians gave their consent, he would, too.
And in the LARGEST tournament of the season, I won the Gold medal in my division. Not Girls’ division, but as a full member of the “Boys Wrestling Team” on behalf of my school.
Yeah, baby! Who’s got the big mouth, now?
(To see an article on Carol Hyunh, click on her photo above.)
What’s the moral of this story?
When I’m challenged, regardless of how difficult the task, I’m driven to answer the call.
Maybe it’s ego. Or maybe it’s the innate drive I have to begin with in wanting to learn and try different things. Maybe it’s my faith in the human spirit to willingly do more than just survive, but aspire to expand and excel in the potential and possibility of personal journey.
(Or maybe I’m just a prideful baboon who goes completely bonkers when it comes to books!)
I’d like to believe it’s the former rather than the latter. (Though I really don’t have anything against baboons. Or books. Or baboons WITH books.)
And so, that pretty, little tidbit of a story has led me here.
- The reason.
- The challenge.
- The blog event.
- And I’m going to answer it!
I’m going to stretch out and join others in the:
100+ Books in a Year Challenge!
Maybe that’s not a lot for some of you. It is for me. I’m a book-crazy person, yes, and even an avid book reviewer and blogger—but I’m no speed-reader! ¡Olé! <—- Click here to see the Bloggiesta Mini Challenge that also led me here.
I’m even FOUR MONTHS LATE STARTING IN! Yikes! But, why not? I’ve got a voracious book appetite and a library card.
I can do this.
Come to think of it, so can you!
Wanna join me and the other book-crazy people in this challenge?
SAY YES, MAN!
I’ll even cheer you on with my virtual cheerleading pom-poms! I’ll even wave my bookmark high in the sky. And together, we can meet each other across the 100+ Book Finish Line!!!
If worse comes to worse, we can always just toast to our efforts in reading a WHOLE LOT with some eggnog at the end of the year! And who doesn’t love eggnog?
To participate, you can sign up here thanks to Book Chick City.
(We can do it!)