As you look at successful business men and professional athletes, all you see is them at the top of their ladder. What you don’t see is how tall that ladder is and how much effort it took to climb it. To me, success is a long journey through the highs and the lows, and the victors are the ones who strive to find ways though them.
Since the age of four, I have competed in rodeos across the Northwestern United States. In this, each year, I have competed to win the ultimate title in rodeo, the All Around. This award is given to the person who has won the most money total in various events. Compared to individual event titles, where it only includes the money you won in that particular event. Well for the last four years, I have been runner up to the All Around winner or second best. The winners have only beaten me my marginal amounts of money. This year I said no more! The three events I compete in are Team Roping, Calf Roping, and Steer Wrestling. So months before the designated season started, I began an intense practice schedule. The rigorous practice stared immediately after school and continued through dusk. As soon as I got home, I would take the four-wheeler out and gather the roping steers and calves. Then I would brush and saddle all three of my horses and begin to team rope (with my brother) a pen or two on my first two horses. After I have worn out those two, I would then get on my last and favorite horse, Bruce to begin my calf roping session. Calf roping consists of roping the calf from a horse, then dismounting and running down to the calf, and lastly flanking and tying any three of its legs. The horse in this event is crucial. Their job is to keep the rope tight around the calf’s neck by backing up. Finally, just before the sun sinks into the mountains, I would take three or four steers from the chute and bulldog them. This was my way of practicing my steer wrestling.
In doing this I sacrificed many things. For one, I had to do most of my homework and projects at night or come in early to school and do it. This also affected my friends. I had absolutely no time to go hang out if I wanted to win that all around. However none of this determination affected my grades or relationships with friends.
So finally after almost a year of practice the end of the season came. This time my name was next to that number one in the all around. I beat out my best friend by a mere ten points. But I think I deserved it because I really had no other outside life during that period of time. I was strictly focused on the challenge ahead. If I hadn’t of been focused then, I wouldn’t have even came close to winning it. But I did it.
There are many other examples of the link between hard work and success. Look at Michael Jordan. How many hours do you think he spent outside shooting free throws or just bouncing the ball? Probably more than we could count. The point is that if you want something, then go get it. No matter to what extremes you have to go to. Just work at it. You got to have a heart to keep going when you’re going through a rut, and dig yourself back out of it. Therefore, I believe that hard work leads to success.
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