This I Believe

Katie - mooresville, North Carolina
Entered on November 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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Finishing Strong

Last year in the cross-country championship meet for our school, it was scorching hot. There were over one hundred runners. And above all it was extremely nerve-racking! We even got lost on the track. I wanted to do my best not only for myself, but for my team. It all came down to the last 400 yards and there were four girls ahead of me. I remembered what my Dad always told me. It played like a favorite record in my head. And it was to finish strong. I started sprinting, and ended up coming in second place! When my Dad told me to finish strong, the first thing that would come to mind was to sprint to the finish at the end of a race. I later realized that when he says to finish strong, he doesn’t only mean in sports. He also means to finish strong with friends and family too.

To me finishing strong is like going the extra mile, going above and beyond what is expected of myself. Like in school work, doing the extra credit, making sure my work’s neat, and turning it in on time. When we have tests I always at least try the extra credit. A 93 percent doesn’t satisfy my expectations. I strive for a 98 or 102 percent. Finishing string is spending time and effort and not just doing the minimum.

Being there for a friend not once, but always to me is finishing strong. When a friend needs me, I am there for them. If they need help babysitting, I don’t let them down; instead I finish strong and pull through for them. And I would even miss my favorite show to be there for them.

Finishing strong is a woman in labor after enduring the nine months pregnancy. Even though the baby is heavy and hurts like heck, the woman still goes through labor. And sometimes, even goes through it again and has more children. “When you are pushing that baby out, it feels so awful, and sometimes you want to quit,” my mom says, “but through the pain you keep going, you finish strong.” Finishing strong, like pregnancy, may be hard. But to me finishing strong is a must. It is never giving up, even through the pain.

When your parents ask you to clean up the kitchen, do you just wipe off the counters? Or do you go the extra mile and organize the cabinets as well? I try to finish strong and not only clear the table, but load the dishwasher and run it also. When asked to baby-sit my brother, I don’t just stay at the house with him. I also play with him.

I believe in finishing strong, whether it is staying in a soccer game, even though my teams down four to zero, when I do the extra credit in school, or washing and folding the laundry for my mom. I believe finishing strong is putting my heart and soul into everything I do, and knowing I’ll be satisfied with the result.