Posted by: Diane | April 5, 2013

Icing On The Cake

I drove 103 clicks last night to give a seven minute speech.

Why? – to practise and to be evaluated.  In a couple of weeks,  I’m going to participate in a higher level speech competition and I want to be ready. These days, I want to practice before an audience, learn from the experts and grow in my ability to pay attention to detail while speaking so,  I’m willing to drive the distance to get the help.

As I was driving home last night, I realized that my competitive spirit had re-surfaced.

When I was younger, I spent many years as a competitive gymnast and I not only thrived on all the discipline required and the repetitious practices, I throughly enjoyed the competitive atmosphere. I loved the challenge of peaking at the optimum time and giving my best under pressure – but living in that constant intensity had its negative side. By the end of my competitive career, I was worn out. When I hung up my gymnastic slippers and grips for good, I distinctly remember saying to myself, “I’ve had enough of competition.  I never want to get into this mindset again.”  For yearsI purposely stayed away from any and everything that looked like it had the potential for competition.

But that was then and this is now. These days, I can feel that surge of excitement coming back and I’m very motivated to learn everything I can, practise hard and present well.

It’s not perfection I’m striving for: it’s a standard of excellence – there’s a big difference. I don’t think perfection is attainable, nor necessary but honoring God with a standard of excellence is a worthy goal. When I taught high school, I often challenged my students with this anonymous quote about excellence:

Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities. 

Speech competitions challenge me in all of the above initiatives and my desire is to do so with character in tact and love for others.

Excellence isn’t being the best but rather, doing my best…and if I win in the midst of it all? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Colossians 3.23,24 NIV


  1. Excellent!

  2. Congratulations on the icing! From a former gymnast, Christian Toastmaster who likes to compete too. See you in Cincinnatti!

    • Hope so, Paula! Got the district competition this coming weekend! It would be lovely to meet you! Diane

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