This I Believe

Jonathan - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in roads, the trails and paths that take me through life.

I am a student, athlete, and community participant. I spend my time traveling many different roads.

Most people think of walking, driving, and other travel as tedious or unimportant downtime. However, the commute to and from school is one of my most cherished times when my mother and I can enjoy each other’s company. After racing, the walk from river to boathouse provides an opportunity for glory or defeat to sink in. Without travel, I would have no time to prepare my mind, and consider upcoming challenges.

One can consider roads more broadly. “Life is a highway” is an overused phrase, yet it triggers many nerves in my brain. Imagine life as a highway with many exits and side roads. Everybody takes a unique route on this intertwining asphalt mess, and one person’s crash can greatly affect your journey. Drive safely, but do not fear alternative routes that could hasten success.

Before I got my license, the law required one of my parents to sit in the passenger seat while I drove. I would constantly ask questions concerning name changes, back roads, and cardinal directions of locations. My first solo journey was to the gym. On the way there, I took the main roads and arrived in five minutes. On the return, I explored. I took every back road that I knew, and got home in twenty minutes. Time or gas was not the issue. I wanted to explore. I wanted to create my own unique route. I wanted to be original. I wanted to be me.

Sometimes limitations constrict actions. Laws create roadblocks, but one learns to find the right detour. In one’s journey through life, unfamiliar problems may be encountered. To accomplish driving on these foreign, scary roads, I may even have to drive in the left lane. Other times there may be an open road with nothing to stop me, and this is a wonderful thing.

My crew boathouse sits on a windy side road along the river. After a stormy night, power lines fell and the road was blocked. My mother, not wanting to drive twenty minutes around the detour, dropped me off at the head of the road. I talked to the police officer; he allowed me to proceed by foot past the road block, and walk the three mile of empty road.

The experience was glorious. I walked right down the double yellow line in the center of the road. I gradually increased my pace to a sprint. At the time I could not explain why, but it was a great feeling being totally alone, and running down the middle of an empty road that is typically jammed with cars.

Despite the condition of the road, I always trust my gut. I believe in taking unknown paths because I never know what new routes I may discover. I believe in roads.