Holly - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

The sign on the door has a basketball player. It reads ‘You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ I will always remember this sign the first time I ever went to my library in elementary school. At first, I did not think that it really applied outside of basketball, but it does; it has to do with everything. This poster has made a profound impact on my life. It has allowed me to think differently about my accomplishments and shortcomings in music, sports, and academics.

I believe that you have to try if you want to succeed.

In volleyball, we had an exercise where you stand at the end of the court, and the coach tosses a ball fifteen feet in front of you. You have to run down the end line and catch it; this is hard for me because I am not a very fast runner. I told myself that I would not be able to make it; I didn’t. Then our coach talked to us about how if told yourself that you could not do something then it immediately cut off your ability to perform the said function.

Last month we had a massive test that combined things we learned in Social Studies and Language Arts. Everyone was really nervous because we had a hundred words that had to be memorized, spelling, definition, parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, accent marks, everything! On top of that, the test was scheduled for the last day of the trimester. If I bombed that test, I would not be able to make it up. Even though I studied every night before hand when I saw that blank sheet of paper my mind went empty. I told myself that I just had to try, and that I would feel so guilty if I did not. We did not get the test back for a week and when I finally got my passing grade, it felt like a million pounds were instantaneously lifted off my chest.

I started playing the cello in fifth grade; most of the people in my school district started in fourth grade. When I started I had a disadvantage, but I pushed myself to catch up. At first, I did not know anything. It was so hard! I played the piano for a while, but the cello had so many things that were different, like the bowing, and reading music in bass clef is challenging for me, but I kept trying. This year I was fortunate enough to gain the honor of playing first chair in my orchestra.

I would not have accomplished as many things if I had not tried. I know some people who do not try; they believe that if they do not try they cannot fail. I think that they are incorrect; I believe that you fail unless you try.