If You Put Your Mind To it, You Can Achieve

Christopher - west friendship, Maryland
Entered on June 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

At an early age in life, I believed that if I put my mind to it, I could achieve it. At age 13, I was at a stage in life where I slacked. I felt that with my superior life, I could have the world, and all its contents, handed to me on a silver platter. It only took a slap in the face by reality to make me realize that I strongly overlooked many aspects that I left in the dust, and what I was capable of achieving in life.

Aside from school, I swam for a team in Catonsville, MD. At the community college where I swam, the pool air reeked chlorine and sweat, and the humid air made it difficult to breathe. The pool smelt like this on a daily basis due to exhausting practices my team and I endured. It was one month before the All-Star State Championship meet. I failed to make any cuts for the meet because I had no work ethic or motivation. But now, with the right mindset, I gave practice everything I had for that month.

The weekend after All-Stars, there was a meet for the swimmers who didn’t make any cuts. I was attending it, ready and determined to make at least one cut. My best event 100 Meter Breaststroke was the last event for the day. That was the one event I absolutely had to make the cut in. I missed it by less than a second. The cut was 1:10.69, which isn’t that hard to get, but I was going to work hard to achieve my goal.

I stood behind the block, doing some calisthenics to get my heart pumping and my body warmer. I was physically and mentally prepared, and all I had to do was get the time. I wasn’t nervous, and I wasn’t over confident. I was ready. The first wistle blew, followed by the second whistle. I stepped up to the block, shook my arms and legs a little bit, and got in starting position. The announcer said “Take your mark” and I gripped the block with all my strength. The beep sounded, and I exploded off the block with immense power, diving into the frigid water. I took my pull-out, and came up for my first stroke. I was already ahead of the pack. I pushed my body to the fullest extent. The race went by fast. On my last lap, my body was drained of all energy, but I pushed myself to the finish. I pushed the touchpad on the wall with all my might. My head shot out of the water. I was out of breath. I turned my head to look at the board with my time on it. I swam a 1:08.48. I got the cut and 1st place in my event. This I believe that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve.