Giving Everything a Chance

Janie - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on November 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

As a kid who is trying to perfect the cello, figure skating, and one day, maybe even fencing, I believe in giving every hobby a chance.

Opinions are everywhere. In the newspaper, magazine covers, conversations, the radio, and even in advertisements. Are they always true? Of course not. When people tell you their opinion in something they don’t like, you can’t always believe in that either. Then, how do you figure out how much fun it might be? You have to try it, give it a chance. It’s ok if you don’t like it, because there are so many more opportunities. Sort of like the trial and error method in math. You keep trying new ways and numbers to solve the problem, just like trying different hobbies to find the one that fits.

For those who know me, without figure skating, I’m not myself anymore. Could you imagine me, a skateraholic, to say, ‘I hate it. The only reason I’m doing it is because my parents forced me to.’ Well, to be honest, I said those words when I first began skating. Before I gave it a try.

Seven years ago, I was invited to an ice skating birthday party. Back then, as soon as I stepped onto the sleek, lustrous ice, I was terrified. And as I turned around to find my mom, and the heel of my blade slipped from underneath me. BOOM! Crying, I was taken home and I vowed to myself that I would never come back to that place again.

The following year, my grand mom decided that I needed a sport to play and suggested skating. More specifically, figure skating. I was tentative. Ok, very tentative. But the phrases, ‘Come on, give it try’ and ‘you’ll never know how much fun it is if you don’t give it a chance’ finally cajoled me, an abstinent grandchild, to go to a group lesson.

Unlike most kids, I didn’t fall even once on the first day, or second, or third. My progression was fast, and soon, I found a coach and it became a weekly, daily routine. This was something that I could feel proud of myself for. Finally a sport without the teacher belaboring comments like ‘You could have shot a goal!’ or ‘Come on Janie, can’t you do any better?’ What a great way to build a kid’s self-esteem. I knew that this was probably one of the few sports I could exceed in. And I practiced assiduously every time I skated. I never knew that a sport could be so exhilarating and…well I’ll admit it. Figure skating is fun.

I believe in giving everything a chance. From rock climbing to skydiving and field hockey to something as simple as reading, every time you try something new, it opens up so many more possibilities. Think about how many opportunities you could be missing out on, if you hadn’t tried something new. And wouldn’t life be so boring if everyone just stayed at home and watched television for a hobby? Once you get started with something that you really enjoy, you just can’t stop. It’s sort of like a dominos effect.

I believe in many things. I believe in what I do, where I come from, and my identity. I believe in trying something you haven’t done before. I believe in giving every hobby a chance. And I believe in this aphorism: 20 years later, you will regret the things you haven’t done more than you’ll regret the things you have done. So whatever your hobbies are, whatever you like doing, get up and try something new.