This I Believe

John - Winchester, Massachusetts
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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This I believe

I believe in working hard and always doing my best. Some people succeed the first time they try something, but most people don’t. If they give up, they will never succeed.

Not long ago, I was reading American Hockey Magazine and there was an advertisement that said, “Get up, fall down, get up, fall down, get up, fall down; hockey teaches a lot more than just how to skate.” For years, this is exactly how I have felt, not just about hockey but about many other things too.

The first time I got on skates, I would take a step and then stop. After a little while, I pushed off and started to glide. It was great but then I fell and every time I tried to go fast or make a sharp turn or try something new, I would fall. I didn’t mind falling down because I know my skating was getting better and I was improving as a hockey player. Now, when I try something for the first time, I expect that it won’t be easy, but if I keep working, I’ll improve. I still fall down in hockey sometimes, but my coach says, “When you fall down, it means you’re working hard. It doesn’t matter if you fall as long as you get back up.”

In most instances, your willpower, determination and heart are more important than natural ability. My mother always says that the world is full of gifted people who don’t live up to their potential. It’s great to be gifted, but the hard-working person can compete and sometimes come out ahead.

Tiger woods, for example, has the rare combination of skill and hard work. His natural ability got him to the top, but his perseverance, hard work, and dedication are what have kept him there. Even though he has wont the tournament, he stays out there sinking putts long after everyone else has gone home. With his natural talent and his hard work he has become untouchable to his opponents. All the great athletes, including Larry Bird and Wayne Gretzky share the same trait.

In my life, the things that I have earned mean a lot more to me than the things that have been given to me. I have earned these things by working hard to achieve my goals. Working hard applies so well to hockey because the game is all about hard work: digging into the corners, out skating your opponent to the puck, winning the face-off. In hockey, some people call rebound goals “garbage goals” but they still count on the scoreboard. The guys who score the rebound goals are the guys who are always scarping, the ones who refuse to give up.

I don’t care much about scoring “pretty” goals. I don’t need to be the guy who skates all the way to the goal without being touched. I do want to be able to say that I did my best, I out muscled the other team, and I walked away knowing that I did everything I could.

So if the question is, “What do you believe?” the answer is I believe in doing my best