This I Believe

Andrew - palm desert, California
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks, sports, work

When is the last time you tried your hardest at something and been disappointed about the outcome? I believe that when you try your hardest you can achieve anything. Of course for some things this is totally impossible. Say stopping a car going 50 mph, there is no way even if you tried your hardest you could stop a car going 50 mph. But when it comes to goals my belief is very true. I came to this belief last year when it happened to me firsthand. Now when I look back, this belief seems true for a number of different situations in my past.

In my junior year of high school I was forced to give up skateboarding due to a medical condition that disrupted my vision and balance, two key abilities to skateboarding. Finally, after seven months of not being able to skateboard my condition was corrected. Skateboarding came back into my life, but being off for so long made my skill regress. I started to ride around hoping that one day it would just come back to me, but this wasn’t going to happen. It made me so frustrated that I almost gave up. Then after more riding around I noticed some progression, just a month before I couldn’t even roll into a half pipe and now I was axle stalling on one. I realized the harder I tried the better I got, so I continued to try hard and week after week my skating got better and better. I still have a little bit of work before I get to where I was, but this taught me if I continue to try hard it will eventually come back.

Now that I look back this applies to other situations as well, for example school. I never remember trying that hard in school until my eighth grade year when my teacher offered me a new skateboard if I made “B” honor roll. Before this I really didn’t do that well in school so I wanted to prove to myself I could. So the last semester of the year I dedicated more time and effort to school. At the end of the year I ended up making “B” honor roll. This showed me that when I did try hard at school I could do well. I realized the opposite is true as well. In my junior year I took my first AP class, US history. I thought I was ready, but I didn’t know how much work it really was. The first month I tried pretty hard and made sure I studied and did the homework, but after a while I started to slack off and substituted skateboarding for reading and studying. I wasn’t trying my hardest at all and at the end of the semester I got a well deserved “D”. Now that I look back, I know I didn’t get a D because I was stupid it was because I didn’t try. I could have gotten an A in the class I bet if I had tried my hardest, but I didn’t so I got a D.

When it comes to goals I want to achieve, trying my hardest is the best ingredient for success. I’m lucky to have learned this lesson. Right now my main goal is to finish my skate part for the Epidemic Skateboard shop video. I’m doing this now by spending as much time as I can filming and skating. I hope that I always live by this belief because I know if I do my accomplishments will be great.