This I Believe

Jordan - Lander, Wyoming
Entered on May 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the importance of pride, which is the spark that gives me confidence and happiness in myself and in my life. My satisfaction with myself has nothing to do with arrogance only self-improvement. I don’t care about my improvement in comparison with others. In order to have pride I need the friction that holds me back and makes life difficult. The resistance creates pride and joy through frustration and struggle. If everything in life was easy, then there would be no pride in accomplishments. I need the friction in my life in order to help me continue pursuing my goals. It is true that the resistance makes me consider giving up when times get tough, but it is also the force that gives me the desire to succeed.

Swimming has been a primary source of resistance for me during three years of high school. I started swimming my sophomore year with no previous experience. Most everyone on the swim team had been swimming at least since their elementary days. I felt out of place because all my teammates were so much better. I always had high hopes for myself even though I continued to struggle with the resistance that kept me from excelling. One of my personal goals was to be able to swim “peak night,” which is the hardest night of the season. I couldn’t make the intervals my sophomore or junior years, which was disappointing. I eventually swam the entire practice, all ten thousand yards, by my senior year and I beat the resistance that was holding me back.

It really isn’t that big of an accomplishment because everyone else on the team could do it with relative ease. If it had been easy for me to swim for three years and make all the intervals on peak night, then I wouldn’t have anything to be proud of. It is the resistance that created my sense of accomplishment. I am glad to say that I kept a commitment to myself and my team by not giving up. I was satisfied with my commitment and struggle with the swim team because I was proud of myself and my accomplishment.

From my experience in swimming I have learned to set goals for myself. In other words, I have learned to create resistance to be proud. Pride can only come from struggle. There is nothing to be proud of if there has been no struggle because then there is no accomplishment. Without pride then there is no reason to pursue goals and dreams because as soon as it gets tough, there would be no motivation to keep going. Because of my experience from the swim team, I have learned to appreciate the struggles in my life. I can see challenges as opportunities to be satisfied with myself; to be satisfied with my life; to be proud.