This I Believe

Michael - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

The Key to Success

I have been playing sports for all of my life, whether it has been on a team, or with my friends. During those years, I have seen many players give their best effort, no matter what the cost was. They suffered through injuries and hospital stays without a tear. I have been one of those boys, but I did cry, and don’t regret that decision, voluntary or not. My passion is sports, and that injury left a void in my soul. The other injured players might not have played again, but they had no regrets about their careers, because they tried as hard as they could at every aspect of their respective sport. Take Ray Chapman. He was one of the best second baseman in the major league when he was hit in the temple from a fastball. He later died in the hospital, and had no regrets about his life. This is my story of effort and redemption.

I had just started playing football, and I was forced into junior varsity action because the starter got injured. In that game, I got an interception, two sacks, and a forced fumble, which led to the winning score. I started the next game, and was going good until the fourth quarter. As I leaped up to deflect a pass, and when I put my arm out to break my fall, it landed at a strange angle, and the receiver landed right on top of my elbow! The pain was absolutely unbearable! As I walked off the field, I saw my teammate’s concerned faces. That first game was the only one we had a victory in. That was when I realized that I would never be kept off the field unless I broke my leg or neck. I’ll never let up, and whatever happens will happen. I need to help my team win, no matter what.

The very next day, I went to the doctors to get my arm x-rayed. It revealed that my hand had been broken. I thought it would be all right because I could play with a brace on, but the doctor told me that I’d miss three to four weeks! Hearing that just about knocked me off the chair. We had finally won a game, and I couldn’t miss any action now!

As the next few weeks went by, I couldn’t stand being on the sidelines, while my heart ached to play. I’ve seen on television the Terrell Owens story, and the Randy Moss saga, and I vowed not to be like them. I play sports because I love them, not for money. I always try my hardest and I love life because of it. Owens, Moss, and other selfish professional athletes could learn quite a bit from my story. To enjoy life, you must put in your very best effort. What you get out of life depends on what you put in to life. This I believe.