You Cannot Be Taught This

Gavin - North Manchester, Indiana
Entered on December 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Credos: This I Believe

Standing behind the block I begin to shake. My entire body begins to tense up when the official tells us to step up onto the block. Flashback to when I was seven years old. My mother told me I was going to be on a swim team. I wanted absolutely no part of that. I was just a little kid who wanted to be lazy and sit around and watch TV. Little did I know that swimming would become a huge part of my life and what opportunities that this strange sport would present for me. When I was eight, I began to understand swimming more. I had met some friends on the team that were my age and I started to have fun. I remember swimming at semi-state in the 10-and-under age group, which was terrifying for me since I was two years younger than them. I remember getting these awesome ribbons for getting fourth and seventh place in the 50 and 100-yard breastroke. I was so happy to have those ribbons, but later I found out that I broke my club’s records in those events as well. I believe that taste of success has spurred me on to keep swimming. Naturally, I wanted to break more records and I began to notice the high school records even though that was an eternity away. I compared my time, which was a 1:34.96 at that time with a 1:03.00, which was the record and I was amazed by how fast that was. I knew that I had 10 years to drop 32 seconds, and this mindset continued every year as I broke the 10-and-under and 13-14 year old record. Back to the present, I was thinking about how all those years prepared me for this one moment. I was terrified until the official hit the button to start the race and the rest is a blur to me now. I looked up and saw the time, to find that I had finally broke the record I had dreamed about and thought about every single day for 10 years. This has encouraged me in every goal I have set for myself to persevere and keep working hard to achieve the goal no matter what. Through the years leading up to the goal I had my doubts. I even stopped swimming for a year when I was 12 years old. However, eventually I was able to break the record that had hounded me for 11 years. I believe that perseverance is one of the most difficult things to learn, and that swimming has allowed me to learn and apply this trait to my life.