This I Believe

Colleen - Kirkwood, Missouri
Entered on May 25, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Never Too Old

To Finish What I Start

Since the age of three, I have been on a small, neighborhood swim team. Every summer, I left my “school friends” and joined my “pool friends” at the early practices and countless numbers of hours frying in the sun and pruning in the pool. Now, most of my “pool friends” have grown out of their “pool rat” stage and have moved on to bigger, better pools, or have aged out of swim team eligibility. Some even seem to have forgotten about the fun we had at our home away from home. I, however, still have not left the small, outdated pool, or the swim team. Until I am over 18, I will remain a Lindgate Gator despite the absence of my long-time swim mates. I believe in finishing what I start.

For years, I have spent every Monday night of the hot summer with my swim team, cheering for swimmers and swimming myself. The only loyal fans at these meets are our parents. No newspaper articles about breaking records, no screaming fans. No matter what I was engulfed in on Monday, be it work or another sport, I always made it to the meet. To me, it is important that I continue swimming until I am no longer able to participate. The swim team has provided me with a countless number of friendships as well as the skill of swimming, a skill that has allowed me to swim in state meets and led me to a quickly growing water polo career. Though I know I cannot swim on the team forever, my continuing to swim has given me a belief that I use everyday.

The ability to finish what I start has kept me motivated through hard times in school, sports, and issues with both friends and family. Through this belief, I have learned the skills of patience and persistence. Obviously, one does not always enjoy everything, and so to finish what he/she starts builds character and fills him/her with the sense of accomplishment and success. Though finishing what I start is not always easy, I am able to fulfill all of my goals to the best of my ability.

I knew I would not be able to swim forever, but as I watched my “pool friends” gradually disappear from our summer fun, I told myself I would swim until I could no longer contribute to the team in the water. Still, as each school year comes to a close, I fill with excitement to join my newer, “pool friends”, and I look forward to my final two years on the team. I am glad I allow myself to finish what I start, because if I did not, I would not have the friends, skill, or knowledge I have now, I would not gain more either. In the words of Bob Dylan, “If your time to you/ Is worth savin’/ Then you better start swimmin’/Or you’ll sink like a stone/For the times they are a-changin’”. Life and times change quickly, but if I finish everything I start, I will keep memories of the past and what it took to complete my tasks. These memories will further motivate me to continue and spread my belief of finishing what I start.