Only five more days until I finish this blogging challenge, and I have enjoyed every post written, some more than others.
Today’s theme is my biggest regret. I have a few regrets, but it’s not hard to pick my biggest one. I used to think that I was a pretty good rugby league player once upon a time. Looking back now, I had my moments, but I was kidding myself if I thought I was ever going to make it to the big leagues.
In 2004, I was going to a trial with NRL side, the Canberra Raiders, for their under-20s side. I was going to trial with them the year before, but I couldn’t go due to work. I was working as an apprentice butcher, and we were down a butcher, and I had to work, and I couldn’t get out of it as I was a first-year apprentice.
It didn’t worry me that I missed out that year because I would have another chance the year after, but that would be my second and last chance. I was ready to take seize the opportunity. The week of the trial, I was super excited. The best thing was that we weren’t short on staff this time, and it wasn’t my weekend to work, so I thought nothing would stand in my way, but I was wrong.
On that Monday afternoon, the other apprentice, Jeff, came to me and said that he had something on Saturday and he wanted me to do it. I told him I had something on and couldn’t I work it. He got the shits and slammed the coolroom door.
The next day, I arrived at work to find out Jeff had called in sick for the rest of the week. My section manager told me I had to work that weekend; I told him that I couldn’t because I had something on, but he wasn’t willing to help me. I tried everything I could not miss my one shot at playing NRL, but I couldn’t find anyone else to cover my shift. I pleaded with him, but he still wouldn’t give me the time off.
The Friday night before the trial, I was hoping something would happen to help me make the trials, like what happens in the movies. I was talking to my stepdad, and he told me that Saturdays were considered overtime and that I didn’t have to work, so he suggested I don’t show up. I seriously considered doing that, but I couldn’t.
I showed up to work in the foulest mood, and it was a shitty day for me. Every time I was bullied at that job, I regretted not showing up that day. That same manager was later demoted when he was doing his job correctly; he told me exactly what my stepdad told me: Saturdays were overtime, and it took me every ounce of self-control not to slap the guy.
I was bitter for a long time, but now I know it wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t that good anyway. Sometimes though, I wish I had chased it a little bit harder.