Contests

The contest lasts for moments
Though the training’s taken years
It wasn’t the winning alone that
Was worth the work and the tears.
The applause will be forgotten
The prize will be misplaced
But the long hard hours of practice
Will never be a waste
For in trying to win
You build a skill
You learn that winning
Depends on will
You never grow by how much you win
You only grow by how much you put in
So any new challenge
You’ve just begun
Put forth your best
And you’ve already won.

— W.A. Clennan

(Originally about Tae Kown Do, I believe, but applicable to Odyssey of
the Mind which I’ve been working on a lot lately.)

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