This I Believe

Kilee - Manlius, New York
Entered on December 18, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Stamp Out Defeat

Don’t let defeat stamp a mark all over you. I believe how you cope with life’s obstacles shows who you are as a person.

When a person is faced with difficult situations, using determination and grit leads to success. Ever since I was little, I was always drawn to tough, challenging tasks. I don’t mean the little ones like going over a jump on a snowboard for the first time, I mean the bigger challenges; ones that teach you something about yourself. When life hurls great obstacles at you, be prepared to deal with the consequences. When I was about 10 or 11 I was given the opportunity to embark on a one of a kind adventure; to climb the steepest mountain in the Adirondack’s Mount. Algonquin. I was ready for the steep incline the whole way up, however what I was not ready for was what I learned about myself that day.

There Algonquin was the remnants of dusk stretched out across the sky. It was early, the new challenge inviting me to venture on if I dared. It was too late to turn back now; I had to at least try. I stepped foot into the unknown canopy of forest tree tops. I kept a steady pace with my cousin and friend who seemed to bolt up that trail. The sweet aromas of the rustling trees, the mellow sounds of the bubbling brooks, and chirping birds and the sun now peaking through the trees pulled me in. My breathing became rhythmic with the sounds around me; I was in tune with nature and with myself. As the incline became harder, my breathing became calmer and my steps slowed down I felt the tingly feeling of relaxation numb my body. Up we climbed, the steepness gradually increasing with every step.

Exhaustion crept in, overpowering my relaxed body. I was almost to the top; all I wanted to do was sit down for a couple of seconds. However determination and grit seemed to kick in on that cue and I pushed harder and harder. I finally reached the top; so many different emotions surged through my veins. I looked around with my cousin and friend realizing I had just climbed one of the steepest mountains in the Adirondack’s.

From that day on I learned a valuable lesson, all through out life there will be obstacles you have to overcome. They will test how you cope with unfair and difficult situations. When you’re so close to quitting think about how many others have almost quit but fought on. No matter how much life may hurt you, stand up tall and push on to the better days ahead. Be a fighter and don’t let defeat stamp its mark all over you, not now and not ever. Fighting back the urge to quit and break down, shows that you can cope with life’s unfair obstacles. This is I believe.