The Power Of Hard Work

Kierstin - Flower Mound, Texas
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports, work

This I Believe

I believe in the power of hard work. All the work I have devoted to being a swimmer for the past eight years has gotten me where I am today. I started swimming on a summer league team at the YMCA in Lewisville, Texas. When the summer was over, I followed my coach to a year-round club team called Lakeside Aquatic Club (LAC). The summer on the YMCA team and my first few years on LAC were just for fun. It was officially a hobby. I wasn’t a serious swimmer yet and I rarely went to all the practices in a week. Most of the time my bike, sidewalk chalk, or playing with the neighbor friend took priority. However, I stayed on LAC and I moved up one age group each year I grew older. Eventually, I started going to practice more regularly and by the eighth grade I had worked my way up to the second highest group on the team. That year, I don’t think I missed a practice. It might have been because I was terrified of what my incredibly intimidating coach would say, but looking back, I’d rather believe it was because I was swimming faster at every meet and I wanted to be even faster. At the end of the year, I saw my hard work pay off. I made one qualifying time for the championship meet that year. It was the first and last time I would go because I was fourteen at the time, the cut-off age for the meet. The following year, as a freshman in a high school, I moved up to the top group on LAC and joined the high school swim team. I was the underdog on my club team and the top dog on my high school team. Being on top of the high school team motivated me to be on top of my club team as well. As the years went on, I worked harder than most kids I trained with. I learned that I’m not the “natural swimmer”. I have more hard work in me than natural talent in the water. So, harder I worked. I was the first one in the water and the last one out at practice. In three years I went from being the swimmer who struggled to make top 16 to return for finals at championships to making my Senior National cut in a preliminary race. Less than a year later I was being recruited by colleges and soon signed with the Division I Lady Longhorn swim team. I know that if I hadn’t given my all to swimming, I wouldn’t be at the University of Texas on a team in contention for winning the NCAA Championships for the first time in eighteen years. I have come to love the quote “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” by Tim Notke. I truly believe the harder you work the closer you get to your dreams.