Posted on 01-Jun-2014
“Who in the right mind would want to join the drill team willingly in the first place?” said that little voice in my head. But I did. So there I was, lining up, under the hot sun, enduring the barks of my drill sergeant, my “fair” skin turning to a crisp under the hot Malaysian sun. My classmates now call me “Tan Man”. I only “volunteered” (thinking it would make my mom happy), hoping that I would be cut from the team after the first week, due to my “amazing” marching skills. But that was not to be, as my sergeant decided otherwise.
For the next few Saturdays I had to stay back, all the while thinking “why am I still here? Am I some sadist subjecting myself to torture?” I kept at this, for a minimum of 2 months until my drill officer, approached me and gave me a little pep talk. One might think that I had my moment of realisation right then. But, nope. I kept at it, for the next week or two, all the while trying to fail.
However, God, in his infinite wisdom, must have seen through my “schemes and tactics”, and kept me in. Then came the moment of truth when I got selected to be in the main team. Not only that, but also to be in one of the most pivotal positions - right at the corner.
I had my “AHA!” moment right then. Everything clicked into place. I realised, it wasn’t just about me, in my “selfish glory” anymore, but was about the team on the whole. It meant that if we lost, the blame would fall on me, of which was very heavy responsibility. Intensive practices followed, which made me doubt myself again. I started to slack again in my drill, only to be propped back up every time by my drill sergeant.
As D-Day (the KL State Drill Competition) loomed nearer, much to the pleasure of our drill officers, we started to march as one. We knew the standard was high, among the KL State companies. Our target was to finish in the top-2, as this would allow 10th KL to represent KL State in the upcoming Pesta.
With just a day to the drill competition, we held a sleepover cum drill camp, aimed at fine tuning our skills and to keep up the esprit de corps. We were in a frenzy, getting our every part of our uniform shiny and clean, to stand up to the rigours of uniform inspection.
Alas! We didn’t win. In fact, we lost 2nd placing by a mere point. A MERE POINT?! We were completely devastated. Losing by a bigger margin would not have been so bad. But, we accepted God’s will, and settled with 3rd placing. We will come back stronger the next time round.