This I Believe

Nathaniel - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Success. Success is what people strive for. Most people long for success, but not every person is willing to work for success. I believe that work must come before success.

People define success differently. Some people think of success as accumulating wealth. Others think of fame and influence. Still others think of success as fulfilling a role. I think of success as achieving a goal.

When I began running for Walton High, I hated to run. It was too hard; I was too slow. I am not sure why I continued to run. I did not care about succeeding. All I wanted was cross-country season to be over. One Saturday morning, before a long run at Kennesaw Mountain, my coach looked me in the eye and said, “If you work hard, I know you will succeed.” From then on, I made my goal in running to do my best and races, to be able to know after a race that I had given my all. I became intimate with the trails next to the river at the end of Columns Drive. I followed those trails; they were my trail to success. I realized that all of the runners, fast or slow, were successful because they worked hard. They were motivated to improve, and they pushed themselves to their physical limits. After the last race, I reflected on the effort that my teammates and I had poured into running, and I believed. I knew that the success came because of the work. I believe in work.

Many people don’t understand why someone would work so hard to become a better runner. The reason a runner is willing to hurt, to sweat, to work just to improve, is a love of running, a drive to improve, and a willingness to work. A runner succeeds if he pushes himself and performs to the best of his ability.

I’ve seen many students who refuse to work. When I first saw those students, some of them appeared successful. Their grades were good, and they had plenty of time for other activities. Soon, however, I saw the truth. Their lack of work began to show up in their grades with devastating results. Those failures frighten me. I believe in work.

Success does not come because of luck. The person who seizes success is the person who pours effort into achieving a goal. I know that success does not come without work, and I will work to seize the hard-earned prize that is success.