Personal Records

Patrick - Houston, Texas
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

I believe in PR’s. As a first time cross country runner in my freshman year of high school, I had never heard of a PR (a personal record). I had never been introduced to it before. It was not until late in the cross country season that I found out what it was, and how it would impact me in the future.

I was at a barbecue at my high school, before our homecoming football game, when my English teacher sat next to me, and knowing that I was in cross country, started to talk about his college track days. He kept mentioning a PR, and I figured it was an acronym, but I did not know what it meant. Then, he asked me what my PR was. I had gathered enough to make an educated guess as to what it meant by then, and I told him my own personal record for a cross country meet. We talked for a few more minutes, and then I left.

It was not until later, when he mentioned PR’s again, this time in class, that I actually thought about personal records, and what else a personal record means. If you think about it, many of the famous athletes, and even non-athletic famous people, that you know of, you know because of their own personal records. You know of Babe Ruth because of his home runs, Amelia Earhart for her solo flight across the Atlantic, and even

Jesse Owens because he was the first American, and the first African-American for that matter, to win 4 gold medals in a single Olympics, not to mention breaking several world record.

However, your own PR does not have to be your best time for a 1 mile, or the most points you scored in a single game of basketball. This got me thinking about a very important question: How will people remember me? What personal records have I set, that will cause people to think of me with respect, awe, and pride? They certainly will not remember me for my best 2 mile time, nor the amount of home runs I have hit. So what have I done, or maybe more importantly, what will I do, to make myself known? Now I do not know the future, but I do know I will work to achieve my own personal record that actually makes a difference in someone else’s life. Maybe it will be the number of times I work at a homeless shelter, or how many times I have recycled. I believe the best personal record a person can have is one that is not just personal. Rather, it is a personal record that affects many people, not just yourself.