Pads of Courage

Eli - Wood River, Illinois
Entered on September 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” A quote once used by a man named Tom Krause. I look at this quote and see that if you truly want to be an athlete, you have to have courage. One trait you might notice in some people, mostly in the ones that don’t play sports. If they do not have a chance at winning, then they won’t even attempt to try. These are the students you see in PE that would just stand in the middle of the game talking because their afraid of losing.

My definition of courage is trying something even though the fear of it might seem greater than the reward. I was scared of even going out for football when I was younger. Some of the reason was I always heard about all the injuries that happened to football players during games in practices. The other was I was scared that I wouldn’t even be able to make the team. I talked to a few of my friends, trying to get them to go out for the team with me. I convinced about four of them to tag along to the tryouts. The tryouts weren’t as bad as I imagined them, since were a small school to start with no one got cut.

Now came the scary part. After twelve practices, by IHSA standards, you can start having full pad practice. This was when the courage had to kick in. There was a possibility, even though it might be slight, that I could get hurt out on the field. The first full pad practice was at midnight to sort of celebrate that the team could finally do this. It was also an exciting thing to go watch for the whole town. Seeing past stars hit and if there are going to be any new people to look for.

I was paired up with a kid that was about my size for the first hitting drill. I was really nervous by now, I could also tell the kid across from me was to. I was a little timid the first actual contact we made, but then I realized that the pads helped me not even feel the impact from the hit. After that practice, I have always loved to go to practice. I look back from that day now and think if I hadn’t taken that courageous step of going to football, I wouldn’t be where I am today.