Finding a passion

Stefan - Ames, Iowa
Entered on January 9, 2009

I believe in having something that you love to do.

My passion, I discovered in eighth grade, was football. Middle school until then was a depressing time for me. As the days went by in seventh grade I was lethargic and hopeless, with no reason to get out of bed in the morning. I had few friends and none that I spent time with outside of school. By the end of the year I had simply stopped trying, and my grades showed this. Eighth grade looked as though it would start in similar fashion. But then football season began.

Every day after school, I would go down to the horrifically pungent locker room, and with the smell of perspiration clogging my nostrils and throat, I would change in to my uncomfortable and hot football gear, which would still be more or less soaked from the previous day. I would then head out to practice. I was put on the offensive line, the most boring and monotonous position of them all. We had brutal conditioning, as we ran back and forth across the field while carrying tractor tires or one another. I would come home after this and go to bed at six thirty, sometimes too tired to even eat.

And yet, I was happier than I had been at any time during the previous year. Maybe it was the feeling of camaraderie as we all sat outside the middle school after practice, waiting for our parents to pick us up, most of us too exhausted to even speak. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment that simply surviving one of those practices gave me. Perhaps it was just a desire to hit people. But whatever the reason, I loved playing football. I looked forward every day to going down to that dirty room and putting on those moist pads. Football gave me something to think about when school or even life in general became overwhelming.

It doesn’t matter what your passion is. Drawing, running, reading, stamp collecting, or shooting marbles are all equally valuable. Just find something you love to do and do it.