This I Believe

Xiu Wen - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Not the Destination, But the Journey

I believe that something is worth more if you have to work hard for it. To me, the sense of accomplishment is unmatched by any other feeling I’ve experienced so far in my 14 years. I learned this through basketball, among other things. Nothing’s more thrilling than that pulse of adrenaline that courses through my veins when I finally make that baseline shot I’ve been working on, or when a play first pulls through and lets us take the lead. It’s best during the games. When we beat a team, it’s so much more rewarding to one-up a good one than demolish one that sucks. When we thrash a strong team, I feel pumped and almost forget that I had just played an hour-long game, but when we crush a weak team, I just shrug and it’s like, “Yeah, whatever”. Sure, it’s still nice to win, but the win’s not as exhilarating when it’s easy.

Like when we creamed the then-ninth-graders earlier this year. It was the last weekend of Mid-Winter Break and we were in Vancouver BC for the Strathcona Jamboree. We played against the city team, Thunder-something-or-other, I can’t really remember other than that their footsteps really boomed their name. Even though they towered over every one of us, their skills were a bit short. When we won, it was cool that we conquered the giants, but the excitement was definitely dwarfed by the lack of challenge.

On the other hand, the game we played during the season-ending Al Mar Tournament in April was one I would not forget. The eighth-tenth grade Strathcona Dragons. Even though we lost, I liked this game more because it had pushed us like jockeys push their horses. We could’ve won too, if that final three-pointer had fallen in, but it played ring-around-the-rosie and all but fell down just before the buzzer sounded. My stomach had sunk with the ball in disappointment, but I was still proud of us. We had only lost by two points. Winning isn’t everything, and I have to admit, that team was better than ours.

Basketball is a big part of my life. It’s one of the only outside of school activities I participate in. I’ve been part of the Seattle Chinese Athletic Association (SCAA) since the third grade. It’s like a community, growing up with all the players that I’ve been playing with, from early elementary school all the way to the end of senior year. It’s a place to make great friends and a difference in others’ lives. Many players return to coach after graduation and it’s all like a family outside my own family. I know that basketball will always be there as a constant reminder of what I believe in. From my experience in basketball, I believe something has great value when we have to work hard for it. There’s that one saying, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey”. Well, life is my destination, and effort is my journey.