I was prepared. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually.
I had checked my equipment the night before and made sure to get a good night's sleep. I arose early in the morning to quietly center myself and then listen to some inspiring, motivating music. As I made my way to the starting line, the crowd steadily increased. The competition.
I silently observed. Most didn't look so tough. Some, I knew I could take them. There were others, though, that I could tell were seasoned veterans. They could give me some troubles. I would have to work for this.
But then I reminded myself that I was no rookie either. I'd done this battle before. To the point that it's become rather mundane, and I don't really look forward to it anymore. I swat those thoughts down, however, and remind myself to be grateful for the opportunity. There are plenty who only wish they could be in my place.
With that, I loosen my neck and shoulders, take a few deep cleansing breaths and step up to the line.
Next I know, I'm in the thick of it. Bodies on all sides of me, some impeding my progress and some falling in my wake. And the children! Little children! I'd forgotten how many show up for this. Do they enjoy it? Or are they forced to be there?
I can't let them distract me, though. Yes, I would be more courteous than I'd planned. More accomodating to the little ones. Still, my mission was the same. Win the prizes!
I reach the halfway point and things are going well enough. Most of the pack is lagging behind me by then, they've not prepared like I have. Keep moving forward, just Keep. Moving. Forward! But the elites are in front and likely to remain. I'm still picking off a few opponents, though. Adults and children alike.
Once in the homestretch, I feel a surge of confidence. My confidence is shaken, though. An elderly woman! NO, not that! I sidestep and let the elderly woman go on ahead of me. Once she's clear, I need to settle myself and get my rhythm back. Near disaster is averted as I manage to make up lost ground.
And then, finally, the finish is in sight. I can just cruise on through. Yes, others are already there before me and victorious, but in the end, we're all winners!
Yeah, got me a nice looking turkey and a few fixings. Was totally beat down on the yams though, so I'll need to work on my yam strategy for next year. I think I've still got a yam chance, though, but I'm not in any rush to go back to the grocery store just yet. I need at least one day to recover.
And I noticed, sadly, not a Twinkie in sight. Rest In Peace.