Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The First Round

    I listen with respect and admiration as my heart pounds stronger, faster, and louder in my chest. My mouth is so dry and I can barely swallow as I wait. Thoughts are going through my head. Doubts. Worries. I quickly force them out so as not to harbor them…. I think…Wow his Comeback was really good…..Focus Bret, Focus…. Just short of Panic my heart is beating so loud I wonder if the guy on stage can hear it. I think about what I have struggled with in my routine during preparation, and what was good while I try to focus on the mental notes from practice. Remember… big breath here… little breath there and it will be alright. The whole time the admiring what the guy before me is doing. I hear him finish and the MC say “caller four to the stage”. My heart races as fear is trying to take hold. Leaning forward I force myself to take the first step toward the stage. I dig deep for courage and tell myself boldly, “attack the stage”. I force myself quickly on to the stage shaking with nervous energy. I hear the MC say “would you like a warm up?” I nervously nod. I look down at my call trying to ignore the crowd. I look down the barrel at the insert and straighten it, then bring it to my mouth. The flood of light fades in my vision to a tunnel and then to black. As the call reaches my lips fear changes to intensity. Quacks I think Quacks….. then… find ring….Right There! That’s it… I nod to the MC. The MC says this is for score and I’m into my hale. Each step of the routine plays out as I try to focus on the details trying not to dwell on anything that wasn’t quite right. My mind is on controlling breaths and air as I have done a zillion times in practice. Then just like that, with three quacks and a strong duck I’m done. I pull the call apart to see if the tone board is wet as I walk off. Nope Dry like always…. Walking off the rush of adrenaline washes over me, and I tremble again only now it is different. There is no fear only the post release calm. I hear the next caller warming up as I walk back to the group waiting their turn. Who knows with a little luck maybe I will get to go through the whole thing again in the second round.