Jeff had never won anything in his life. He tried every contest on the radio and entered all the sweepstakes he saw on television or in the paper. But nothing ever was in his favor. He never won. He was a loser and he knew it. Jeff may be a loser when it comes to winning trips or life time supply of meaningless products, he was talented in one field. Jeff was a great swimmer. He wasn’t fast enough to win race or medal in swim meets but that was okay to him. He really just liked swimming and to him it was just a hobby. He didn’t want it to become a competition where the joy of swimming is lost in the grueling training that comes with overbearing mothers and fathers. Jeff just preferred to keep swimming as a something he liked to do when he had time.
That was until one day when he saw an advertisement in the local paper about a nationwide talent show coming into town. He got excited about it. He was hoping that this might be his chance to finally win something. He at least knows he a great swimmer and this might actually give him a chance to win something. Jeff convinced his parents about his idea of entering himself in the talent show. They were hesitant at first. They didn’t want his feelings to get hurt again. But he promised he wouldn’t cry. He promised he wouldn’t throw a fit and toss in the towel if he loses. He just wanted to enter because he feels he has a shot at winning this time. He feels it in his gut and he is sure that his talent in swimming will surely ensure him a win and national fame.
Weeks later, the day of the talent competition came. He spent the weeks before training and practicing his routine. He was going to swim from one end of a pool to the other multiple times while performing different tricks. He stood in the back while the talent show began. Jeff watched the other contestant do their acts. Some were great and some were just awful. Jeff did worry that he might not win because some of the acts were that great. But he kept his chin up and kept the idea of winning on his mind. He heard his name called and he walked out on stage. The judges asked his name and what his talent was. Jeff showed them the pool and explained that he’ll be doing tricks while swimming laps in the pool, going from one end of the pool to the other. They nodded and said okay. They didn’t look too impressed but they could be proven wrong. Jeff dove into the pool and went at it. He went from one end to the other and promised many tricks, which he did perform. It wasn’t until his six time through that the judges stopped him and told him to get out of the pool.
Jeff stood on the floor. He was dripping wet and had this look of success across his face. The judges however, were not very happy. Nor were they impressed. One judge spoke up and scolded Jeff for a silly and meaningless act. “This act was dreadful! It had no purpose. I don’t know what we were watching. It was you swimming back and forth. That was it.” Jeff pointed out his tricks but he was laughed at. The tricks were basic and didn’t make his swimming routine any better. The judge continued with his assault towards Jeff. “Did you even think about this before you decided to come here today?” Jeff replied, “Not really.” The judges all agreed he wasn’t going through to the next round. Jeff was disappointed. He asked the judges for a second chance. “I promise to do better next time! I just didn’t think this through. I’ll amaze you with something else.” They didn’t listen and still told him no. “Jeff, we’re sorry. We can let you through. Your act was horrible.” Jeff dropped his head and walked away. One judge stopped him. “Maybe try to improve on your act. You need to wow us. You want this to be an event. Come prepared. I don’t know. Maybe give your act a name. Do you have a name for your act?” Jeff thought for a moment. He looked at the judge and nodded,
“I do. I like to call my act, My laps of judgement.”