I Believe in Always Playing to Win the Game

Sarah - Shelbyville, Indiana
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Ever since I can remember, I have been surrounded by sports or some type of competition my entire life. Whether playing a simple card game or playing for the state championship in basketball, my parents have always encouraged me to try my best at everything. That is why I have adopted the philosophy to always play to win the game.

My friend, Allison Lardin, has demonstrated to me that playing to win the game is the best thing to do, even when failure is inevitable. All throughout middle school Allison and I had been friends and played on numerous sports teams together. I had always noticed that no matter what, she tried her hardest and played to win at whatever sport she was involved in and was very successful in doing so.Unfortunately, what Allison eventually ended up losing was the biggest game of them all, life.

The summer before our eighth grade year, Allison was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and could have decided to give up right then and there. However, she did something even more remarkable; she kept playing to win, even though she knew in the end losing was inevitable. Over the next two years, she went through extensive chemotherapy, which caused her health to slowly deteriorate and caused her to become tired all the time, but this did not affect her outlook on life in any way. Eventually, Allison lost the game of life in the fall of our freshman year of high school. Even though she is gone, I believe that Allison still inspires people to play to win the game to this day.

While a lot of lessons come out of playing to win the game, not all of them are learned through failure. Actually, some lessons are learned through the direct opposite of failure: success. Whether it comes from a game or academics, there is no better feeling in my book. Before high school I never really had personal goals for myself academically, because I never thought it was necessary to get good grades. I decided it would be a good idea to set some goals for myself and I set out to get on the honor roll my freshman year of high school. I studied almost every night, which hindered me from doing other things I wanted to do. However, I decided to apply the same philosophy I had with sports to my academics: I played to win the game. This all paid off when I got my report card and had all A’s for the first nine weeks. I have had the same attitude towards academics ever since.

So, this is my advice to everyone: always play to win the game. This philosophy not only applies to games and competitions, but also to life itself. It may seem like a fairly simple philosophy and not much can come of it, but I assure you it is one decision will not regret it.