On 1257, watching our first ever win as an alliance captain at Mt. Olive this season.
Our first win as alliance captain set our mentality for the entire season. We were laughing, taking everything seriously and joking. To see the students who had devoted 4 years of their lives to it suddenly to have their actions come to fruition changes you. It’s validation, affirmation, and changes you inside.
FIRST was defined for me in that moment. The coordinated efforts of so many people coming to fruition all at once. Regardless of how far you went in that event, or any event, it builds your character and skillset (and the robot I suppose.) Nobody can tell me otherwise, as I felt it myself.
It was where to me FIRST came alive. Not by the act of winning independently, but by the act of winning via the collective actions of more than three dozen people. It’s the first time I’ve had faith in people since I did group projects
If I had to pick a second, it would be our win at MAR District Champs. We had consistently ranked lower than expected throughout that event, but thanks to the blessed scouting of 225 and 341, we were a 2nd pick on the #1 alliance (!) After the picks had gone around, we were resigned to go home and cancel our bookings for Worlds. When we heard their reps begin out a “12” a gasp fell over our seating section, and when the “57” was stated, a roar erupted from the stands where we were sitting.
At that moment, we were as ecstatic as when we had won Mt. Olive. We were given a second chance, to redeem ourselves in ranking and talent. Our drivers, our build, our scouts and leaders all had a vigor about them, unlike the rest of the day prior to that moment. They’d slowly slumped down until we were picked, and that sudden and intense fire was the reason we kept going.
As I once heard it put, “Graciousness keeps you through victories of any size. Professionalism carries you through the losses.” I’m pretty sure Woodie said that, but at this point, it may as well have been said by any of you.