I believe in the conviction of heart, in the motto “never give up”. I believe that I can be my greatest motivator or my biggest critic, and I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I believe in myself. The power of the body over the mind is astounding.
In order to have conviction in myself and in my beliefs I have to have confidence and faith in myself. My senior year in High School taught me a vital lesson that helped me to believe in myself. I was the captain of the track team, I had always been really good at sports but i decided that I was really going to dedicate myself so that I could win or at least place at the state track meet. My father once told me that if I did not leave any type of practice exhausted I did not get any better. So every day I told myself that I was the best, and I could do anything I set my mind to. I improved rapidly and placed in every track meet. I have also had knee injuries basically my whole life so as districts approached i started to worry about them. Two days before districts we were practicing relay exchanges for our 4 by 1 team that was expected to win state by seconds. Right after I handed off the baton my knee went crazy. It has been known to slip off the track, completely dislocating. My coach immediately told me that I would probably not be able to compete with my team just incase it happened again. I was devastated but I did not want to give up so i went to physical therapy 4 times before the district meet. On the day of the meet my teammates to my coach that they would not run in the relay if I was not going to be able to run. He gave in and let me run. We were predicted to win in both of the relays our team was in so we began warming up for the first one. I felt great. During the race I was very nervous, I did not want to let my team down. So when I got the baton I ran the fastest I’d ever thought about going, and I was first, but as I was coming out of the turn “disaster struck”. My knew blew completely out. But I would not let my team down. I finished an entire 100 yards with a blown out knee and my team went on to run at state without me.
I can still vividly remember that day. It seemed like everything that I’d ever worked for was just gone. Since then I’ve thought much about the experience and what I’ve taken away. That was probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Finishing that race was not at all easy, but the lessons it taught me were well worth all the sweat and tears. I learned to endure to the end, to never give up on my goals. That I can achieve what I want to achieve, whatever I set my mind to.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.