I believe in the piercing pain from the blood blister on the bottom of my foot from wearing my basketball shoes too long. I believe in running past the point of exhaustion while sweat is drenching my whole body. I believe in the salty taste of tears streaming down my face when my entire body aches, but I just will not allow myself to stop. I believe in working so hard that the blood, sweat, and tears are merely symptoms of hard work and have no effect in my present state. Like a cake without frosting, working hard without blood, sweat, and tears leaves a feeling of absence like something essential is missing. I believe in blood, sweat, and tears.
Some people think I am lucky. The truth is it has nothing to do with luck, but rather my competitive attitude and willingness to work hard in all aspects of my life. There may be someone more talented than I am, but I can guarantee anyone that no one works harder than I do. I believe the harder I work, the luckier I get.
I hate to admit this, but I did not always value hard work. From the time I was born through my childhood years I always wanted everything to be handed to me on a silver platter, like a princess. All of that gradually changed as I matured. In seventh grade I was told that if I worked hard enough, I could have my college paid for through a basketball scholarship. This was when I first started playing, and I had no skill other than raw talent and God-given abilities. Since college was still years away it seemed possible that I could catch up with other players my age that had already been developing their basketball skills for years before I even started. Through the kindness and patience of my dedicated basketball trainer, Kenny Drake, I spent countless hours every day for more than a year working on every aspect of basketball. In the beginning, it was something I dreaded. I remember moments when my dad would have to drag me to a workout despite my numerous excuses as to why I should not go. In the end, my excuses were a waste of time and effort. Three months into the first year of my basketball workouts, I had an epiphany. I realized it did not matter how hard I worked if I had a negative attitude. If I truly hated what I was doing, how could I ever improve? Having a positive attitude and working hard go hand in hand. Once I changed my attitude towards my basketball workouts, my improvement skyrocketed. I became one of the top girl’s basketball players in the nation. I was recruited and offered scholarships by countless different Universities across America. Because of this success, I believe in all of the blood, sweat, and tears I had to endure to be where I am today.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.