This I Believe

Matt - Manchester, Missouri
Entered on May 10, 2007

“This I Believe” paper

Throughout my life, I have had many coaches. Almost every single one of them has their own little catch phrases, or things they say to try to get you focused and pumped up. When I made the change from private school to public school, I found many differences in the coaching.

I am a track and field athlete; I throw the shot put and the discus. In discus, you spin around in a circle, or ring, and throw the discus as far as you can. It never really occurred to me how much discus is like life, that is, until my discus coach told me to “Attack the circle”. After hearing it everyday throughout the track and field season, I started to dwell on it deeper meaning. When you “Attack the circle”, you are supposed to spin through the ring as perfectly as possible. The ring resembles preparation and the discus represents how far you go in life. The better you perform in the circle, the farther you throw. So the better you perform in life, the farther you will go in life.

Everyone throws differently, though. In the same sense, discus represents diversity in life. Everyone goes for the goal of the perfect form, but the outcome is different for everyone. No two throws will be the same. Just like everyone’s life. When I spin through the circle, I try to go fast. I think that it gives me much more power when I go through the ring. A guy that I throw against regularly from Parkway West has one of the slowest forms that I have ever seen. Even though his form is really slow and a bit sloppy, he still throws farther than me because he is stronger. I think that strength represents the benefits that you are given in life. A lot of people might achieve success, just because of who their parents are and what their parents have accomplished. If a poor kid from public schooling applies for one of the top schools in the country because of his good grades, he still may not be accepted because he doesn’t have enough money, or he doesn’t know the right people from the school to help him get in. As in life, some innate advantages trump form.

As I searched for my philosophy of life, I chose the thing I love the most. When I switched schools, I “attacked the circle” and made the best out of the matter. Every thrower scratches and id like to believe that those represent our mistakes in life. I scratched big time last Mother’s day because I forgot to get a gift for my mom and that was not a good thing. That’s one mistake I wont make again. I know I scratched when I decided not to study for my history final. It wasn’t very smart but I learned never to do that again, just like you learn what you did wrong to make you scratch when you throw.

After I have stopped with my discus career, I still think that this philosophy will apply. If I “attack the circle” in the business world, I will make a lot of money. Basically when it’s stripped down, my philosophy is, always be prepared for what you are doing in life and your life will be good. When I am an old man, and my body isn’t even capable of throwing anymore, I can teach this philosophy to my children and grandchildren and hope they get the same meaning out of it as I do. This I Believe.