This I Believe

Petrana - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on February 14, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe

My older brother was an important person in my life. He took me to the stadium, a red dirt track with a green circle in the middle. It looked so large in my young eyes. I was twelve years old. It was the end of October and a bit cold, about 10 degrees Celsius and 4:30pm. The leaves from the trees had just changed colors, green to dark brown. Near the stadium there was a hotel that used diesel gas to heat the rooms inside. While this is another form of fuel, it produces a great deal of smoke. This smog went right out by the track and was very strong. Now when I run on the road I smell the same smell from the cars and it reminds me of my past. No matter how cold it was or how difficult it was to breath, I kept coming back to that track every day (and I still do) as I realized that only with hard work and dedication could I achieve success.

Some people have skills and some do not, but everyone can agree that they have some talent, and if you are able to find yours, you will be a happy person. I found mine and I went a long way to develop my first results. I am proud to be a part of Bulgarian athletic history.

Five months after my first practice I went to my first competition. Dreaming was easy, but reality was much tougher. The night before my first race I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking of my run the next day. I ran 1500m races, and I came in first. It was like a dream, but I believed that running would shape my entire life. I will never forget the way that felt. I was afraid of the other competitors, my heartbeat was racing, my legs were shaking, and I felt that I was breathing too fast. After the start signal everyone ran as fast as they could. This time I believed in my self, I believed in my coach, and I believed that if I truly wanted something I could do it. The results were my awards. I was first, but I was so tired. At that moment I thought that I had breathed my last breath.

I like to run because I have done this for my entire life. My mother has told me that my biggest strength and my biggest weakness was my heart and I know for a fact that she is right. Running makes me more disciplined with my time, which affects all aspects of my life. The health benefits of being in shape are great. I believe in the idea that practice makes perfect. Some of my teammates asked me “Petrana, how can you run so fast? That is impossible for me.” The key phrase is “practice hard every day and believe in yourself.” I don’t believe there is magic in this world. Everything is up to your own abilities. I think if you want to do something, and if you believe in your goals with all your heart, nothing can stop you. I have worked extremely hard to accomplish this. This I believe.