When I was in 4th – 6th grade I was in a rotary track club. (am in the one in the yellow shoes, hunched over). It turns out, I was a very speedy sprinter. I was never good at distances, and still am not. But I totally kicked ass as a sprinter. I loved the feeling that would come over me during these races. I can still feel that amazing feeling. the anticipation of the gun. The sound of it. And then something would take over my body. My legs would take over completely. I always, always won. It was the best feeling in the world.
One of the interesting things about it was that I am not a competitive person. I don’t send out that vibe at all (at least I don’t try to). At the beginning of the race the other girls would size me up. I could feel their eyes on me. They would look at me and eliminate me as competition. And I would sit there, quietly smiling, knowing what they were about to experience.
I was reminded of this experience this past Monday at my darkroom class. At the end of the class the teacher wanted to look at our negatives so we could see what an underdeveloped and overdeveloped negative looked like. She looked at mine and used it as an example of well-developed negative (in other words, good darks and lights and middle tones. The full range of black and white tones). There is a professional photographer taking the class too, and her negatives were shown as an example of negatives that were a bit overexposed. It was actually very interesting to see the difference. However, the professional got a little bit bent out of shape because her negatives were not “perfect”. A part of me felt kind of smug inside. OK, honestly, a pretty big part of me felt smug. It brought back that old feeling I got before a race. Is that wrong? I sort of feel like it is a little bit. Maybe I am more competitive than I thought.