This I Believe

Ashley - Clovis, California
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Starting at the age of five, I have been involved in sports. First, it was soccer. Then, came cross country and track. From these, I have learned very valuable life lessons that may have been hard to teach me otherwise.

Soccer is most often thought of as a team sport. However, individuality also plays a key part of the game. When I was younger, I was never selfish. I would almost always pass the ball instead of trying to score the goal myself. I was a team player. Now, I am better able to work in groups rather than if I would have not learned the basic concepts of teamwork at such a young age.

As I got older, I learned that being an individual and taking chances helped out my team more so than being a team player all the time did. Sometimes I had the better chance of scoring a goal than one of my teammates did in a different position. So not only did soccer teach me to be a team player, I also learned that it was okay to take chances and be an individual. Better yet, I found out the balance between the two. Taking too many chances would make me cocky. If I don’t take enough, I could hurt my team’s chance of winning. In addition to learning the balance between the two, I learned what situations would be best to take a chance and which ones I should be a team player.

When I was older, cross country and track became a bug focus in my life. As I got older, the distance we had to run was farther and races became more difficult. Every year my mental strength was challenged and every year it got harder and harder to overcome the pain I had to go through. From the time I started running in the fourth grade until my senior year of high school, I learned that self determination is a very powerful thing to have. With this, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to; you just have to have the will power. When you fight through all the pain and know there was nothing else you could have done to do better the rewards at the end are so much sweeter.

Sports have made me who I am today. I am a strong woman who can work as a team, but still take chances for herself. I am a woman with self determination and enough will power to accomplish anything I set my mind to. I am a woman who believes that sports can teach very valuable life lessons.