Hard work pays off

Delaney - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I am a student, an athlete, a daughter, and a sister to three. My life isn’t hard; I live in an upper class society and the most difficult thing I face in a day is my geometry homework. But despite this, I am a strong believer that hard work and determination pay off, and that through this, you grow as a person.

When I was five years old my parents signed my sister and I up for a swim team. I barely knew how to swim and couldn’t make it 25 yards without stopping on the wall; I was easily the worst on the team.

But I was surprisingly competitive for a five year old. I played soccer and tee ball and was pretty good at both. Winning was always my goal, and when I realized that I wasn’t going to excel at swimming, I wanted nothing to do with it. However, despite my constant begging, my parents wouldn’t let me quit.

So every night I went to swim practice, and slowly I began to improve. Swim meets became less dreaded and the ribbons began piling up. Eight place ribbons at first but slowly eighth place turned into seventh, and seventh into sixth, until finally first place ribbons and gold metals became normal for me.

This was ten years ago’ those ribbons are in a dust covered box on the top shelf of my closet. But my swimming career isn’t; now at the age of fifteen, I am completely committed to swimming. During the spring, I swim for my high school’s varsity swim team. “Off season,” I swim for a club team to keep in shape. For me, every season is swim season.

However, swimming isn’t always a walk in the park for me, it is a lot of hard work. Between my knees and my shoulders, it’s almost always painful. Regardless, I do my best to keep a positive attitude and work through it. I know that if I let the pain get the best of me, it will affect not only my own performance but my team’s performance as well.

Every meet my coach tells us “good swims and good attitudes are contagious.” I use this as a reason and a motivation to keep going. I know that if I try my hardest, and stay determined, it will make me a stronger, tougher, and better person all around.