This I Believe

Rogan - Durango, Colorado
Entered on January 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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This I Believe:

Perseverance and Commitment

Accomplishing a task can be difficult. Whether it be a twelve paragraph analysis on three short stories, kayaking down a Class IV river with towering canyon walls engulfing you in an rush of water with no way out, skiing up a hill in second place with one kilometer to the finish, with a crowd overwhelming your emotions, or as easy as giving a classroom speech to your peers. All of these “missions” I have achieved with perseverance. I believe that dedication and perseverance are life’s important virtues in a human being. I believe I was not born with perseverance but it evolved with my personality. My dad always provided me with the best opportunities and best experiences in life. It is these experiences where I learned that perseverance, commitment, and dedication are necessary to achieve success and satisfaction.

One occasion, I learned perseverance climbing on a bright and clear New Years Day. My dad and I decided to go rock climbing. In this sport you put your life in the other person’s hands below you. Hard work and commitment keeps you going and takes you to the top. At the top we enjoy the mid-day sun and prepare for our descent. It is called repelling; the climbers lower themselves to the ground with the same rope they use going up. I go first, so my dad can retrieve all of the gear. When I near the bottom I realize that the rope ends ten feet short. My weight can’t stretch the rope down. My dad is far from ear shot. What do I do? Jump? Commit to a leap of faith? Yes. Inch by inch, lower and lower until…no more rope, a second of weightlessness, and I strike the hard earth. Believe to commit.

At nine years old, I was starting to kayak. Although, not advanced, I was up for a challenge on the Arkansas River. Paddling down and not paying attention like most nine year olds, I descend into a rapid and flip over. A rushing, cold feeling, of water sweeps throughout my boat, and I emerge on the surface of the pure clear water. I first notice that my boat is floating downstream with my dad in close pursuit. My river shoes are coming off, and all I have is my paddle. Swim to shore, which is what I have to do. After getting on shore my dad disappears around the bend. Great! No kayak, no shoe, no dad! I wait for thirty minutes, and no help. My dad appears. Walking and limping through thick brush is what I did, with only one shoe. Perseverance, I believe, kept me going on that long walk to my boat. After the walk, I committed to the challenge and continued on with the rest of the river. Most would quit after a horrible experience like this one. I believe that determination can help you get past your bad experiences and continue with something you love.

Believe to commit. Believe to finish. Believe to live. This is how I live my life. I believe that commitment and perseverance are virtues that make life worth living.