This I Believe

Robert - LaGrange Park, Illinois
Entered on October 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe making your own decisions during high school. When many guys go to high school they dream of meeting new friends, weekend parties, girls and of course, participating in the big three—football, basketball, and baseball.

As a kid I remember driving past Lyons Township seeing the Friday night football games and all the fans screaming as loud as they could. At the end of eighth grade I remember hearing that all of my friends were going out for the freshman football team next year. Although I knew the sport pretty well, I was never completely sold on playing football competitively. I just was never into the idea of putting on the pads in the 100 degree weather and getting knocked around for four months. I struggled with the idea that perhaps I should stick with my friends and try out for the football team. When the freshman orientation packet arrived at my home, I excitedly read the information that included fall sports. Choices for boys were football, soccer, golf, and cross country.. Seeing the words in print “cross country” made me consider that as a viable option. I have always been active in sports and my speed and endurance seemed to always come easily to me. “Hey, perhaps running is a good idea,” I thought. I also thought that I could play whatever sport I want and keep friends as well. So my decision was finalized. I would sport the short shorts and sing let and join the LT freshman cross country, team.

Although the cross country team lacks a host of screaming fans, my first year with Coach Danner and fellow runners was an overall great experience. I made several close friends, pushed myself to physical limits, ate a lot of pasta, and experienced much personal running success. Cross country continues to provide me with success that can be measured at a variety of levels…social, emotional, and physical. Successes that foster a positive high school experience for me!

The decision to part from a lot of my friends’ football choice wasn’t easy. Peer pressure never is. I thought for a long time and wisely realized that my high school days don’t have to be a copy of anyone else’s including my friends. I think many other people like me should try to do the same.

Just because your interests are not as popular as football, basketball, or baseball go out and pursue them! If you want to join the chess club, badminton, or even cross country I encourage you to do it! I believe in making your own decisions during high school.