This I Believe

andrea - newark, Ohio
Entered on November 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports, work

Being the Best I Can Be

I used to think that losing was such a horrible thing and that whatever I lost at, made me a loser. I felt like a loser. I have learned and stand firmly on my feet with the belief that losing is actually a great thing. Losing is what made me who I am today and that means I am stronger willed and a more determined person, especially with all of life’s journeys.

I’ve never been one that likes being pushed into things because I’ve never been too sure of myself, and that is what makes me think putting my best effort into anything I do is all I can do to be the best I possibly can. Early on, I always had to go to my twin brothers little league baseball games, which I always enjoyed watching. I never thought about actually playing myself. I would have loved to play, but didn’t think I would be any good.

In second grade, my parents nagged and nagged me to play softball. They would say, “Why don’t you do something? Do you think you would like to play softball?” I heard this over and over again. To make them happy, I had them sign me up and I was officially on my first team-Gummer Wholesale.

Early on in my softball career, I began pitching to anyone who would catch for me and after awhile, I ended up pitching to a concrete wall. I thought that if I could be good at something maybe I would be good at this. I practiced and practiced pitching. The truth is, I’ve never put so much time into something-ever. I eventually became good but still, I wasn’t good enough and could be a lot better.

Throughout those many years of playing softball, I was on losing teams and even winning teams. I never liked losing because it made me feel almost worthless, but I guess that was part of it. I didn’t like having to practice more than the team was supposed to just because we lost a game. It felt like such punishment and I easily became discouraged. Those longer practices actually gave me more pitching practice which made me a better player and I didn’t even realize it.

For eleven years-all the way through high school, I played softball and pitched. I’ve had no-hitters, won tournaments, hit opposing players in their ribs and thighs, and definitely have lost some games. Hitting other players and losing games never really felt good and I always felt like I had let the whole team down but, pitching was my passion. Losing those games made me work harder and if I wouldn’t have lost those games, then I doubt I would have put in the effort to be good. Losing actually ended up being a good thing because putting in extra time and practice into something really does pay off. It’s what made me believe in being the best I can be. And being the best I can be, regardless of circumstance, is all that I can be.