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Word Count: 513
I stepped on to the stage and months of innumerable practices had finally veiled off in front of hundreds of listeners Beads of sweat dropped from my forehead and my heart beat faster as I began my last speech at the Washington State Japanese Speech Competition Winning first place in the last two years left me with pride and confidence Yet an unexpected surprise came alongIt was March as another time for the Washington State Japanese Speech Competition cameBut something was different this year Having too many competitors from my own school I first had to compete in an in-school competition which would select the finalists for the state competition I was confident from most experience than everyone else But over the excitement I hadnt noticed the word effort was a little bit farther from me than last yearOn the day of the in-school competition my eyes observedother competitors reddened eyes of no sleep On the other hand I found myself with a poorly worked-on speech and a mind full of foolishness It wasnt their physical effort but their passion that made me realize what a fool I was As the bitter realization continued it was already my turn to give out my speech Not only did I embarrass myself in front of the judges but also disappointedeveryone The result didnt surprise meI lost Yet a chance to compete in the highest level of the state competition I couldnt be any happierHandicaps did not matter and winning was out of the question Because all I wanted was to provethe existence of passion inside meThe speech for the state competition told the story of the in-school competition and its lesson behind itBut the difficulty for competing in the highest level was undeniable As I received the judges questions I realized I wasnt able to answer the questions I felt the nerves invade my brainand started seeing the listeners in the background And the first person my
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