This I Believe

Andrew - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe – An Essay

Few things in my life have truly had a life changing impact on me. Out these few, there is one that deftly stands out, and that is the perseverance that I have gleaned from competition.

When I was a mere eight years old, I started in Tae Kwon Do at Lewis’ Tae Kwon Do Institute. I remember the first day I went in, everyone was so big and intimidating, but ready and waiting to teach me the art of Tae Kwon Do. From that day on, I knew it was the place for me. I’ve learned so much since then, encompassing both life skills, and Tae Kwon Do skills.

Since joining Tae Kwon Do, I’ve changed so much, both physically, and mentally. My mindset has changed, to promote the ideals that our school upholds, to teach the new students around me, and to keep myself functioning in a “peak” state. I’ve gained increased flexibility, strength, and dedication.

One of the things I have garnered most from my years in Tae Kwon Do, during my progression to 3rd Degree Black Belt, as well as the innumerable competitions I have competed in has been perseverance. I know the fury and frustration that sparring entails, the lust for competition, and the euphoria of winning. That is what keeps me coming back to it, from every win, to every loss. I must continue to the next tournament and to the next fight.

At one tournament in particular, the Texas State Invitational, I had quite a loss. I had struggled to make it to the finals, where I had my last fight, my most memorable one. As we began I knew that my opponent was faster, stronger, and had probably been training longer than me. But that didn’t stop me from trying my best and persevering to the finish. Unfortunately, midway through the match, I was kicked in the jaw, knocking me out, and dropping me to the bottom of the mat.

My first thought after waking from my knock out was that I had to finish my fight, I had to battle to the end. To my despair, I was forced to give up the round because I had been declared ineligible to fight, simply because I couldn’t stand up without tipping over…

Even though I had been knocked out and eliminated from the finals, I knew I had to keep competing, keep learning, and keep training. I have learned that without training, one cannot win, and to win a fight or to win a tournament is one of the best feelings that I have experienced in my life. Without our ability to keep doing something even when we know it may be impossible, we wouldn’t be the people that we are today. By continuing to train hard, persevere through defeat and move forward to the next objective I am able to achieve my goals and win the tournaments I compete in.