The Decision

Jinny - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Beep, beep.” The alarm goes off in my room, the clock reading 5:00. I get up and change into spandex tights and warm jacket. Afraid to look at myself in the mirror, I half-heartedly wash my face, tie my hair back in a tight pony tail, and rush downstairs. Again, my mom is already making breakfast.

The clock hits 5:20. “You ready?” asks my mom. Finishing up the breakfast, I rush to the garage to pick up my bag and get in the car. 5:30. We arrive on time! As I stretch, I greet my friends who are also doing the same. When my friend called out, “We have, like literally two minutes left,” I quickly fasten my shoe laces and put on my guard. As I open the door, the icy, cold breeze greets me. By the time I finish my warm up, my face is already beginning to redden from the coldness as if I had too much fun with blush.

Yes, I am a figure skater, not on the way to the Olympics of anything, no way, but I love to figure skate. I love how as I spin and jump, I feel free from stress, and become engrossed in my own world.

However, this routine-like schedule seems forever ago, since after that day, I haven’t stepped a foot in the ice rink. It was a few days before school started again, the day I hated my parents: we were discussing about my extracurricular activities. I somehow knew that this day would come, so I obediently sat down on the couch, waiting for them to speak.

“Jinny, we think it would be better for you to cut down on a few of your extracurricular activities.”

Becoming defensive, I replied, “No, I’m fine, I can manage it.”

They told me that to be able to focus on school work, I was to make a choice and cut down on my after-school activities. I, being my own usual self- a stubborn, hot-head- didn’t budge. Sighing, they left me to think on my own. Sitting there for what seemed like hours, I thought intently.

Suddenly, the tears started to flow, because I thought that they were taking everything away from me. Then a memory from my freshman year hit me hard, the day I came down with a 103.2° fever/flu. The cause? A build up of stress, and lack of sleep. Then I understood, the true meaning of my parents’ suggestion: they didn’t want me to become ill again, all because they cared about me.

After contemplating for a week, I came down with a decision to stop skating for a while, who knows, maybe from a year or two to not until after I graduate from college. I know that this was the hardest but also the best decision I’ve made so far. I believe in a time out, a break which has enabled me to become a true student who can balance school with her activities.