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The Participation Award, or Please Vote for Me

From several weeks ago - she never wants to smile for selfies with me!
When I was in elementary school, every year we had some sort of "Canada Fitness" testing week. If memory serves, we were supposed to do our best on a series of track-and-field exercises and our teachers would see how we ranked against each other and more importantly, against some national standard of fitness.

Now, to give you some context, I come from humble immigrant beginnings. My parents worked two jobs (sometimes three) to support the four of us. They didn't have time or resources to enroll us in gymnastics or soccer or even take us to the playground every day. They did what they could, and we counted ourselves blessed to be able to take one set of "lessons" (mine was piano, while my sisters both chose ballet) growing up. Since they weren't always available to play catch with us (nor were they particularly athletically-inclined themselves, having grown up poor in China in the aftermath of WWII), we spent a lot of our free time in creative play indoors, or with our noses in books, or in our backyard or front driveway. Our athletic aptitudes (if we had any, which is subject to debate) were left uncultivated.

So every year, during Canada Fitness week, I dreaded having to be measured against some "standard" that I simply wasn't physically able to meet. I did okay during the sit-up portion of the exercises, but anything that involved running or upper-body-strength were beyond my repertoire. I'm fairly certain that, during the 800m and 1600m runs around the school, I came in dead last every year, huffing and puffing and walking in embarrassment towards the "finish line" while the majority of my classmates advanced toward the next activity. Sometimes, the only person waiting at the finish line for me would be the teacher, who usually looked just a bit annoyed that it took me so bloody long.

At the end of these "games," everyone was awarded with a prize. In an attempt to salvage self-esteems, *everyone* got something. Most kids received either a gold, a silver, or a bronze ribbon. I think there was even a red ribbon for those stellar athletes who far exceeded the expectations. Then, there was the participation award. Sometimes it was a ribbon (a blue one), at other times it was a paper certificate or something along those lines. Guess who always scored the "thanks for trying" award? And for the record, it did nothing to salvage my dignity, which had disappeared somewhere between the 300-500m mark.

I've been nominated for the Top 30 Vancouver Mom Bloggers of 2014 contest. It's one of those competitions where the winner is chosen by public votes. I'm not expecting to win, because the competition is fierce and there are just so many compelling and interesting ladies in the mix. Like an Oscar nominee, I'm just honoured to be considered. However, I am not-so-secretly hoping not to come in last place, like I did during Canada Fitness week. I highly doubt that the vote numbers will be published (at least, I hope not), but I'd appreciate a vote anyway, just to spare my poor battered self-esteem the indignity of getting a participation award again.

So thanks for voting! You can do it once a week, and if you want to be extra nice to the 10-year-old inside of me, feel free to let your friends know to vote for me too! Incidentally, in case you wondered (I know you didn't), I was also almost always picked last for sports teams, which is the primary reason why I never allow student "captains" to pick their own teams one-by-one in front of everyone.
Talk about humiliating!


Yay!! Your blog is so fabulous. It's about time you have some recognition for it. ❤️�� I voted and commented!
Kitten said…
I gave you a vote. No worries. :)
mazoola said…
i nominated and voted for you!
Mrs. Loquacious said…
Thank you so much ladies! And Mitzi - I figured it was you!!! Xoxo

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