This I Believe

Ashley - Auburn, California
Entered on September 24, 2007

I believe in my “strong hand”

School and sports have always been full of obstacles with the never-ending thoughts of self-doubt constantly in my mind. However, my junior year in high school my sister convinced me to join Winterguard. In Winterguard I met a couple of my best friends. One of them, Jess, has helped me believe in myself, she has taught me to always believe in my “strong hand”.

I came to start believing in myself in March 2007. My friends and I decided to donate blood. In order to give blood you have to weigh a certain amount; Jess and I were both cutting it close, Jess weighing in at about 112 and I weighing in at 118 the lady told us that we needed to be very careful the next three or four days with no strenuous activity at all what-so-ever. Of course she tried to convince us not too. But heck no techno, we were doing it whether she liked it or not. We both went through with it; both knowing that we had TWO competitions for Winterguard the next day. Afterwards I felt like I hadn’t slept or eaten in a week and that I had just ran about 3 marathons. The next day at the first competition I had to take two naps just to catch my breath. Before I knew it I was slowly walking up an enormous hill where the competitors’ gym was, panting with five and a half minutes until we were to compete. My head was swimming and I was about to cry. How the heck was I was I going to do this when I couldn’t do it normally?! I had always been afraid that I couldn’t do the work, and now that I was practically passing out and out of breath I had it set in my head that I wouldn’t be able to do ANY of the work. But of course out of freaking nowhere one of my best friends Jess runs up, panting and reciting a line from one of the “Scary” Movies “USE YOUR STRONG HAND ASHLEY!” Before I knew it she’s serenading to me about how good I am and how great I was going to do, I just had to use my “strong hand”. She made me feel 100% better. And hey, I did do great. What did it matter that I ended up passing out in the locker room? I did the dang thing and I did a dang good job.

To this day not only is “Use your strong hand” and inside joke to Jess and I, but it’s my “slogan” in life. Believe it or not it helps me. Whenever I’m having trouble with doing something because I don’t think that I can do it, I think to myself “Use your strong hand Ashley!” and hey, I do 100% better. True story. To this day I believe in my “strong hand”, my support and belief in myself.