This I Believe

Ryan - Huntersville, North Carolina
Entered on October 31, 2007

The Competitive Number Nine

“If you are in second place, you are dead last.” Whether you agree or disagree with this phrase, it is a phrase that has been carved into the minds of all sports players. To achieve first place, it is necessary for you to have the will to win. I am a closed circuit racecar driver who is fueled by winning. I believe in the will to win, it is the core to my strength and perseverance.

It was a cloudless, bright, sunny morning when I woke up. Dressing in my racing suit uniform, I stepped outside and took a long, deep breath. The air was humid with a forecasted temperature of 80 degrees – perfect conditions for racing. Meeting and greeting my pit crew, we set up and headed for the grid. I then turned on my car’s engine, the number nine.

I qualified at fifth place, which was a long way from first, and I only had 10 laps to either win or lose. The referee waved the green flag, and I slammed hard on the gas. The two drivers ahead of me were battling it out, swaying back and forth defending their position, but I took the opportunity to take the apex and pass both of them. I was in second place on the sixth lap, on the straightaway, until trouble prowled along. I passed pit lane, and suddenly the number 99 car crossed the safety line and fishtailed my car, causing it to spin around. My head started to ache from all the anger that I had with the driver. In spite of this, I didn’t want to lose my will to win. I wanted to win and proudly wave the golden trophy high in the air. Finally, on the eighth lap, I caught up with third and second place. We reached the S-turns, and like many drivers, covered the inside corners well. I took the outside corners, and with both front wheels smoking, overcame third and second place at the exit of the corner. No opportunities to pass first place, we had to go head-to-head on the white flag. I waited for the last corner to go side-to-side with the leader as we came to the treacherous U-turn. Knowing he was at a disadvantage on the outside, he let loose on the turbo, giving him a half-a-car length lead. I braked hard into the corner, causing me to power slide, while the former leader locked up his brakes causing him to take the corner wide. I slammed on the gas to clinch the checkered flag, while leaving my rival in the dust to claim second place.

I won the race, but only thanks to my will to win. If I did not have the courage and willpower to overcome and persevere against all odds, I wouldn’t have won. This is what I believe, where there is a will, there is a win.