This I Believe

Erik - centenial, Colorado
Entered on November 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature, work

I believe that hard work, determination, and practice pay off and are rewarding. I have been in band and working with music since was nine. I started out on clarinet, but I had always loved jazz. In 6th grade I went to a school that had a jazz band. I found out that they wouldn’t let a clarinet play in the jazz band. Alto saxophone fingering closely matches clarinet. That summer I practiced sax non-stop so that I could maximize my chances of getting into the band. I was extremely determined. After all my hard work it definitely paid off. I got 1st chair alto sax as an incoming 6th grader.

Without determination people would never accomplish anything. People who work hard and practice with determination will achieve great things. For one summer I practiced saxophone and got first chair in the jazz band. Think of the amazing goals people reach with a lifetime of hard work. One summer is minuscule compared to a whole life. If someone worked as hard as they possibly could and practiced over and over then they would have a sense of achievement that no one word could ever describe.

Last summer I climbed Mount Sneffles in Colorado. This mountain is one of Colorado’s fourteeners. This means that it rises 14,000 feet above sea level. The day before, we carried our 50-pound packs up to a campsite 6,000 feet away from the summit. The next day we climbed all the way up those 6,000 feet. The climb was extremely strenuous. At some points the path was only as wide as one foot on an overwhelmingly steep mountainside. Near the top we came upon a huge boulder field that must have been twice at steep as any other part of the mountain. We scrambled over many boulders to finally reach the summit. Enormous amounts of sunlight and bright blue skies flooded down on us. In every direction you could see miles of open land and great towering mountain. All of our grueling physical work had given us a sense of nirvana.

Both my music and mountain climbing successes have forged my belief in the power of hard work and determination. Both climbing mountains and practicing for jazz additions both require perseverance to get to the top may it be mountain or 1st chair. This, I believe.