This I Believe

Kevin - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on December 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work
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This I Believe

Most things in life are not easy to do, and a person can’t just breeze through everything and be successful. They must work for it, they must persevere. This I believe…

When I was in the sixth grade, I really wanted to play football. Not only did I want to play, I wanted to be good. I wanted to be a standout player. The problem was, I was a skinny kid, and didn’t have the speed necessary to be a shut-down corner kind of player. Even though I was skinny, I enjoyed tackling people and making good stops. Soon enough, about in my fourth practice, I was trying to hit people as hard as I could. The coaches put me at linebacker and I was easily the smallest kid playing the position. However, even though I was the smallest, I turned out to be one of the better hitters and soon started doing practice drills with the biggest kid. He was monstrous to me; he had at least sixty pounds on me and he was a few inches taller. He had also already played football for five years.

Finally, in one memorable bull-in-the-ring drill, I benefited from all the hard work I had put in. Bull-in-the-ring is a drill in which everyone formed a circle and one person was sent into the middle. All the people on the perimeter of the circle took turns hitting the person in the middle with a good shoulder pop while they hit back. When it was my turn, I hit each player as if they had done me some great personal wrong, and when my turn ended, the coach and the players applauded me. Later that practice, I was named one of the three captains of the team along with the huge kid I played with at linebacker and another giant lineman. It was a proud moment, and it was then I realized the importance of persevering and working hard. Still today I look back on that moment for inspiration when I need it to complete something difficult.

One other experience that helped to shape my belief that perseverance is so vital happened the following year, when I was in the seventh grade. I was playing baseball at Creve Coeur ball fields for my team, the Flames, and we were playing a team with an excellent pitcher: the Mariners. Their pitcher could throw harder than anyone we had ever played against, and I was up to bat. I fouled off the first two pitches and was waiting for the third. He wound up to throw and released it. Within the blink of an eye his blazing fast pitch took a sharp curve and hit me full the mouth. I spun all the way around (or so I’ve been told, because I don’t remember it) and fell to the ground. I had to go to the emergency room because my front tooth had fallen out and I was bleeding copiously from the mouth.

For a couple weeks after that, I stayed at home and recovered. It had been very painful and I was not very eager to return to playing. However, I remembered how much I liked to play baseball and knew I would have to overcome the first few games before I could start playing the game that I liked so much. The people I talked to in this period, such as my parents, helped me realize this. They helped show me I needed to persevere to get back to where I was at before with baseball and that has been vital to the formation of my belief.

So, most things aren’t easy in life, and that is why perseverance is such an important quality to have. I hope that I can be a very determined person with lots of perseverance, because that is what I believe is good. I believe that a person must persevere to achieve their goals. I will always believe this.