This I Believe

Kyle - Webster, New York
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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My mind wandered as I sat on the bench at my last game. Gazing across the court into the bleachers, I saw all the kids I went to school with. They stared at my teammates playing ball, and stared back at me, sitting on the bench. My warm-ups were still on, which was a clue that I didn’t get one second of playing time. I felt so helpless. I felt so weak. I felt like dirt. I had been riding the bench the whole year. At that point I knew I never wanted to feel helpless and weak again. I asked myself, “What am I known for?”

All through elementary school, middle school, and now almost halfway through high school, I was known for being just a tall, skinny kid. I was fed up with being known as that type of kid. At this point I was fifteen, and felt my awkward teen years were coming to a close. So I said to myself, “Am I going to be known as a tall, skinny kid the rest of my life?” I answered, “No.” With the feelings of weakness and helplessness, I decided to join a gym, across the street from my school. I took the path to become a very strong and muscular individual, like many teenagers do. My goal was to get as big and as “ripped” as humanly possible. So, my dad showed me a standard routine to work through, and I was off to the gym.

A friend from school joined too, and we both walked over after school every day, starting in March. At first it seemed like a chore, but I knew I had to go if I wanted to get stronger. Plus, I went to avoid getting my “chops” busted by a couple of friends at the gym. The first couple of months, the gym was a foreign and mysterious atmosphere. At first, it took a lot of determination and focus to work through the routine. When I had just started, I was pushing around weights that were looked upon as light. On the bench press, I started with one hundred and fifteen pounds. A few weeks later, I began benching one hundred and thirty-five pounds. Gradually, I kept increasing the weight. Around late May and June, I started to enjoy working out at the gym. Keeping my goal in my mind, I worked out with extreme intensity throughout the summer. I spent hours at the gym, enjoying the warm summer air, which was let in by the backdoors. This fall, I began benching two hundred and twenty-five pounds, which was a huge improvement.

People’s compliments always made me feel good. By the end of the school year kids began to notice the improvement in my physique. “Have you been working out?” You look a little bigger.” Throughout the summer, when I saw friends whom I normally did see every day, they were impressed. “Man how much time are you spending in the gym? You’re freaking jacked.” More compliments came when I went back to school, along with everyone always asking me to flex. I ate it all up. Spending at least two hours in the gym, six days a week, going on six months, I deserved the recognition. Now, I don’t feel weak or like dirt. I feel like I am on top of the world, and I plan on entering a bodybuilding show this spring.

I believe hard work and determination is the key to success. In achieving my goal, I was determined to be known as a muscular kid. However, without my work ethic, I could have never become successful. I am very confident and I can take on anything, due to the journey of my success. I achieved a difficult goal through hard work and determination. It feels so great to be victorious.