This I Believe

Carl - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work
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This I Believe: Sacrifices

Yesterday morning I woke at 10:00 AM, after hitting the snooze button multiple times. Then after taking a shower and eating, I wandered off to school, which of course is where I…um…expended my knowledge infinitely on numerous subjects. Following school I went to a baseball game that was entertaining to say the least. After which, I headed home and crawled into my cozy, comfy, and soft bed. All in all, I’d have to say my day was quite decent, free of sacrifices, which in my life and most everybody else’s, is very rare.

I am an athlete, a swimmer to be specific, and like most, my days are filled with sacrifices. Yesterday was one of those nice, relaxing days without practice. However, my usual schedule is as follows: Wake up at 4:30 AM and drive to swim practice. Dive into the nippy water at 5:00 and practice until 7:15. Sulk to school where I am stuck until 2:40. Hurry home, then leave for afternoon swim practice at 3:30. Practice again, this time from 4:00 until 7:00. After which, head to the gym to lift weights for as long as possible (usually 45 min.). Rush back home, eat dinner, then jump into bed around 9:00 PM. Then do it all over again.

I don’t go to parties Friday night, play XBOX after school, or go to concerts often. My dedication to the thing I love requires me to make sacrifices. Strangely, I am grateful for those sacrifices. Ten, twenty years from now I know I won’t think back and say, “Man, I sure wish I went to that movie that one Friday night.” but instead I will realize where my sacrifices took me in life. By sacrificing what I honestly don’t need or want makes it possible to attain those things in life I find truly valuable. How else am I going to accomplish my dreams of NCAA Championships or Olympic grandeur? How can any athlete improve without making the conscious decision to not eat poorly? How can a student get their time consuming homework done without choosing to miss American Idol? Making sacrifices for the greater good is necessary in life, and without it, nothing important could ever get accomplished.

Knowing that sacrifices are a daily and necessary occurrence, I am not going to expect or want more than is available to me. When I must choose between option A and option B, I will not strive for both. Making sacrifices diverts greediness while promoting independence. I value my parents’ wisdom, but I don’t let them decide things for me. My sacrifices are my own, teaching me decision making, self-reliance, and independence. My character, ethics, and outlook on life have all been shaped by my sacrifices in the past, and will continue to be molded by them in the future. I believe in sacrifices.