Today’s daily prompt is a fun one. I am prompted to describe a time when I was embarrassed and how i reacted to it.
It was freshman year in High School, I was in the JROTC Drill Team with Arms. If you’re unaware of what that is, google Cadet Kelly, add Liam Neeson, and The few scenes in Captain America before he became buff. In drill team with arms we spin rifles with excellence and we are also judged on the creativity of the routine, the execution, and our military baring. I joined the squad late in the year but I was still able to join. My first routine was not in a competition, it was for the school rally.
When I am nervous my palms get sweaty. In DTA, your hands are very important to execute the precise movements that this requires. Some of these movements involve being in two lines, parallel but walking towards each other while grabbing the stock of the rifle and spinning it in between the people of the line. It is really intense and one slip up could cost you your nose.
I remember how nervous i was because one, I am a freshman, two, the whole school is watching, and three, in ROTC any slip up results in a consequence where 100 push ups is the least of them. As we walked into the gymnasium we started our routine, it started flawless up until the point when we had to spin the rifles and spin them up into the air. I remember as I threw the rifle up it was a perfect execution, but as it came down the sweat had consumed my hands and the rifle slipped, In all performing arts, you’re told to continue and play it off as if you never messed up, DTA was not different. The problem here was that my slip up was obvious, but I stayed in formation picked my rifle back up and continued to the end of the routine. As we marched out of the gym, I knew that was it, disappointment overwhelmed me, i was ashamed and afraid of what my commanding officer would say.
During the debrief to my surprise it was not as bad as i assumed would happen. it was just a talk and them building me up and encouraging me. As far as the rest of the school went, the next day at lunch, “HEY! You’re the guy who dropped the gun!” I embraced it. As a way to cope with the embarrassment, I would joke along with them.