This I Believe

Theresa - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

Life is tough. It pushes us down and keeps us down until we summon the strength to get halfway to our feet only to be rudely shoved to the ground again. The second we decide to stay down, we lose. That’s Life, and it is fair because if we refuse to get up, we refuse to Live.

I was always the girl who wanted to do everything like my older brother, and I usually did it with ease. I was invincible until 1996 when I blindly followed him into the world of soccer and was greeted with a resounding “No.” No, you’re not doing it right. No, you have to run faster. You’re not trying. You have to practice more. You can’t, you can’t, you can’t. Not once did I hear a “Good job, kid. Don’t give up.”

Soccer kicked me in the gut, and I kicked back. I practiced on the green every day and drastically improved my skill. I proved to soccer that I wanted it enough, and over these ten years it has remained a constant in my Life. Soccer is Life. If I gave up the first time I got a mouth full of grass, where would I be today? I would be left as a victim of the infamous “What if” Syndrome that lurks on the shoulders of so many people today.

So I believe in seeing things through until the end. Overcoming the obstacles Life throws at us only makes stronger. David Beckham didn’t become a soccer legend by benching himself the first time he missed a goal; Thomas Edison certainly didn’t give up the first few times his light bulb refused to turn on. These people boldly started something, and they didn’t succeed because they had talent. They succeeded because they had heart.

We can’t expect to achieve anything in Life if we don’t put on our shin-guards and prepare ourselves to be brutally nailed by the balls that will eternally soar in our direction. How we Live is our choice, and I firmly believe in embracing the challenge and staying with Life’s game no matter how many times I get slide-tackled. Life challenges us with tests of defeat, and nothing can beat it but determination. In the words of Thomas Edison, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up, and the most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.”