This I Believe

Sam - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

2 October 2006

Giving Your All

Growing up in a family of five kids, it was difficult to have my own beliefs. All my brothers and sisters went to the same schools, had the same teachers, and took the same classes as everyone else. But throughout the 15 years I have spent on this earth, I have learned a lot about how to be successful in life. I have learned many different things, some more useful than others, but the one that applies to everything that I ever do, is that hard work gets you everywhere. Working hard shows a lot about a person. It shows that they are committed to whatever they are doing, and that they can set their mind to something and do it.

One of the times that I found out that hard work can get you everywhere, was at the beginning of the 2006 high school track season. Before that year, long distance running had come naturally to me. I played multiple sports and I was just an overall athletic kid. During Jr. High cross country, I was always one of the top finishers, and it was never that difficult. At the beginning of the track season, I figured that I would naturally be a top runner, because that’s how it went in Jr. High. So in the pre-season workouts I never gave it my all, I wouldn’t take it seriously and sometimes I just wouldn’t even come to the workouts. I got a wake up call during our first meet against Marist. Lining up for the 800 meter run, I had all the confidence in the world, but at the end of the race, I was just embarrassed. I ran a 2:35 and I placed almost dead last.

I am a competitive guy, and I do not like losing. That meet was when I decided that I would be 100% committed to the track. I would go to all the workouts, I would lift weights every other day, and I would give my all at every meet. I worked as hard as I could for about three months and at the last meet of the year I ran a 2:15, 800 meter and a sub five minute one mile. I was one of the top freshman distance runners.

That whole experience made me learn that I am the type of person who can do anything when I set my mind to it, and hard work can get you anywhere. This I believe.