This I Believe

Shaylee - Heber, Utah
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: courage, sports

Make a Splash

I am standing at the edge of a pool. All around me are people daring to jump right in without testing the water first. They are not scared of taking the risk, of making a splash, unlike me. I have to test the water out, one toe at a time, making sure there are no surprises. The circumstances have to be just right for me to try it out.

Taking risks. There are those that do it, and those that don’t. In the show we call life, there are people ready to jump in and have a lead in the show. They aren’t afraid to mess up or look silly. They are the type of people that don’t care what others think of them. They are here to live life at its fullest. Then there are people like me. We sit in the front row, watching the show. We are wary to make our mark on the world. We are scared to participate, to take the risk.

Last year, a buzz went around the school about trying out to be a freshman cheerleader. All of my friends were trying out. I wanted to be with them, to be a part of their group, so I decided to try out as well. At the time, I didn’t realize that it was a risk, because I was very confident that I would make it as a cheerleader. The week passed. It turned out that I didn’t make it. One of the few risks I had taken in my life had plummeted, leaving me feeling that I wasn’t of worth. I was not a cheerleader, and I was scared to take any more risks because of how it had ended.

This past summer, I started running with my mom. It was a huge commitment, to wake up early in the morning and go exercise. The summer ended, however, with me running a half marathon and feeling better than I ever had in my life. Was it a risk? Sure. But it was one that I took. I grabbed that opportunity, that open door, and was so happy with where I landed. Instead of not taking the risk and feeling rotten, I felt awesome, like I could do anything. When I came back to school in August, my parents told me that I should run cross country. It seemed like my kind of sport. But I was afraid to take the risk. What if I was too slow? What if, just because of me, the team didn’t take the record they’d been hoping for? I was nervous. I debated about whether or not to join for a long time. Finally, I decided to chance it. If I can do it, great! If I can’t, what’s the big deal? I joined the team, and I did so well. I was happy with how the season ended, and I worked my way up to being one of the fastest girls on the team.

Jean-Claude Killy said, “To win you have to risk loss.” Risks can be scary things. They can turn out good or bad. When I tried out to be a cheerleader, the risk turned out bad, and I fell hard. The important thing is that I kept on going, kept on taking risks! If we don’t take risks in our lives, we could miss out on something that might have been life changing. People never know their potential unless they test it. I’m sure that Abraham Lincoln didn’t know that he was going to be a great president of the United States when he was a teenager. He took the risk, and it ended up great for him. People need to take more risks in their lives. The only way to make a splash, to make your mark on the world, is to take risks! Join the show; get a part in the play. Take the lead! Test the water by jumping right in, instead of sitting on the side. Take risks! You’ll most likely be happy with the outcome.