Winners Never Quit

Sarah - Great Neck, New York
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Over the years, I have learned to believe that winners never quit. I think this means that if you really, really want something, you won’t give up to get it no matter how tough it gets.

Everyone has some sort of an “issue” that he or she has to overcome; one of my “issues” is overnights, or sleepovers. I don’t exactly remember when this fear started, but I can remember avoiding the issue since I was little. I used to just say, “I don’t do sleepovers,” when I was invited over by a friend. Eventually, my parents thought, this is enough, and made me work through it. In the beginning, I would schedule sleepovers with friends and end up going home early, like at 12:00 or even 1:00am. Then I got sick of going home crying and I just avoided “sleeping over” completely. At my friends’ “sleepover parties” I would stay until a certain time, usually when everybody got ready for bed, and would come back in the morning so I wouldn’t be missing any fun.

A couple of years later, I just didn’t try anymore, and soon I found out that my grade was going to go on a four-night trip to Ashokan. Ashokan is an “outdoorsy” type place that has many team-building activities and other fun things to do. It sounded like loads of fun except for the four-day part. My parents were not going to let a small fact like sleeping over hold me back from this trip that I would remember forever, so I went into full “sleepover practice” mode. When I would go to sleepover at my aunt and uncle’s house, which I had done successfully many times before, I found myself getting upset. I realized that all my time off from practicing this skill had kind of erased all of my progress and I had to start all over again. I ended up not going on the trip and missed a four- day trip at camp that had been really fun, too. I didn’t want to miss the camp trip again this summer so I practiced all during the school year and I finally slept over at my friend’s house with no tears. I was so proud of myself and could tell that all of my hard work had finally paid off.

By working through this struggle, I learned to try hard and never give up. I learned to do this because when my progress had been “erased,” I wished that I had never taken that break because I worked so hard for that progress. I believe that we should try no matter what because as I have said, when you reach your goal or in my case, get over a fear, it is the best feeling in the world. Even though I had slept over successfully, that didn’t mean I was going to pack my bags and go off to sleep-away camp, but it did mean that I had one less thing pulling me back to accomplish greater things in life.