This I Believe

Jacob - Canton, Michigan
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Believe In Myself

I’ve been told, “You aren’t good enough for that,” or “You’ll never make it”. Most of the time I heard that about my abilities in sports. That’s all I’ve really known for my short life. I just turned 20 years old. I don’t have enough life experience to truly believe in much of anything yet. I’ve only been told what to believe by my parents getting some advice that I “need to know”. The only thing I can always count on is my own good judgment. I’m just now starting to think about the important decisions I’m going to make. Sure, I can take advice from other people and it’s a great idea for me to do that, but in the end it’s me that needs to be satisfied and it’s me that needs to believe that it’s in my best interest.

I remember when I was 7 and I tried out for one of the local teams. I wasn’t very good, but I had heart and was always willing to give my best. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to make the team, but I’ll always remember what my dad told me on the car ride home. He said to never let anyone tell me that I’m not good enough. I’m the only one that can decide how far I’ll go and when my body is telling me to quit, keep on going no matter what. That rang true a lot for me in this past year. I was training for the Chicago Marathon and during each run that’s what motivated me. Just keep on going… One more mile… Come on… Just one more. I remembered all of the hecklers from my high school team.

“Yeah right, you won’t be able to finish that. You’re gonna have to walk about half way through. I’ve seen you run before, there’s no way”.

I was determined to prove them wrong. It’s true what they said. I was never the greatest runner and at the time I wouldn’t have been able to finish a 7 mile run without stopping let alone a 26.2 mile one. I was never going to let that stop me. I trained hard for months. I could never have imagined running 20 miles straight before, but after a few months I was there. I had defied even my own expectations. I never knew that my own body was capable of something so great. I always believed only god-gifted athletes could do that. During the marathons you see on TV you always see the Ethiopian runners with the defined muscles. They’re the true running machines. The day I ran across that finish line I considered myself one of them.

Everyday we see people pushing past the boundaries that were once thought impossible to pass. Sports are the most obvious boundary breaking scenarios we see in the public eye, but anything someone does after looking deep within themselves is worthy of recognition. You are the only one that determines where your life leads you. Believe in yourself. I know I do.