Many girls may feel that swirling dirt, eye watering gas fumes, and the deafening roar of engines is not terribly exciting, but I am definitely not one of those girls. A few years ago I participated in my very first demolition derby. It took me all summer getting the car stripped down and ready for the event; despite the individuals who tried to discourage or just plainly didn’t believe that I could do it. I not only competed but I also took second place. I was able to do this because I believed in myself.
I am from a small town of about 14,000 people. The Demolition Derby is one of the biggest events of the year, and kicks off the annual Fair Days. The Demolition Derby has been a tradition for years, and the highlight of my summer for as long as I can remember.
As a young girl I would tell my parents that someday I was going to drive in the Derby. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I had a wake up call when a friend of mine told me that we both knew that I would never enter. This comment made me angry. The more I thought about what he said the more I realized the truth behind his statement.
Out of spite, that year I purchased a car and began the daunting task of preparing the car. For someone who can’t even change her oil, this was more than a challenge. Through reading and calling on favors, I finished the last adjustments to the car the night before the derby. From the swirling dirt to the deafening roar of engines I loved it all and have since then competed again.
I still can’t change the oil in my truck, but through that experience it taught me to believe in myself. Although I sometimes still face self doubt, I fight to overcome this skepticism because I know that I am the maker of my destiny.
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