Possible, Not Impossible

Sarabeth - Signal Mountain, Tennessee
Entered on January 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Many people think that the impossible cannot be achieved; I believe it can as long as I have the right mind to do it. People all around the world are brought down everyday by their own thoughts of despair and self-consciousness. I have experienced this throughout my own life many times, but have taught myself to block the negative thoughts and follow the part of my brain that tells me that I can succeed. As a competitive swimmer, those negative thoughts creep up on me almost every time I get ready to race. If I let those negativities stay with me throughout the practice or meet, my races get worse as the day goes on. I have found in my short sixteen years that if you let the impossible overshadow you, then it will. Whenever I start to feel discouraged, I list all of my goals and then tell myself that I CAN overcome the impossible; it never fails.

Last summer at one of the biggest meets of the year, I was standing behind the block preparing myself to swim the 200 freestyle. I looked over to the lane beside me and I froze. Right next to me, with her leg on the block, was the fastest senior on my school’s swim team and I could not help but feel intimidated. This girl had the fastest 200 freestyle time on the team and I was becoming uneasy as I realized that in a few seconds I would be racing her for first place. All of the impossible thoughts were creeping into my mind and I was getting more and more intimidated. I quickly looked away and forced myself into reality. Although this girl had a better time than mine by five seconds, I refused to let myself lose because of my negative thoughts. I closed my eyes and imagined myself touching the wall first and it shocked me how much my self confidence rose. The official started us and we dove into the pool. Amazingly, I was ahead as soon as I took my first stroke and managed to stay in first for all eight laps. I touched the wall with a best time of 2:01.08, and I won the event by quite a bit.

These and other races have convinced me that if you tell yourself you cannot achieve the impossible then you will not; it is simply all up to you.