This I Believe

Stephen - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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This I Believe…

I believe that life cannot be fully enjoyed without taking risks and trusting that things will turn out alright in the end. As far as the risks go, I believe that they should not necessarily be life-threatening or stupid risks. I believe that they should be calculated, but still somewhat crazy. Do things that others only wish they had done. Life is too short to sit and wonder, “I wonder what would have happened if I had done this or that?”

Personally, I want to run a marathon someday and I want to run in under three hours. “Where’s the risk in running a marathon, especially since in an average year only eight people die during a race?” someone might wonder. My family has a history of heart disease and other related heart issues, so it is certainly taking a risk for me. But the marathon days will have to wait because I am still in high school and already play school sports. Trust me when I say that I am going to run a marathon because I will. It is natural to want to be similar to everyone else and do the “cool thing” all the time. I am not opposed to the idea for others, but as for myself I would like for my friends to think of me as a “unique guy that I enjoy being friends with not just another guy.”

Very few things, if any, ever came to be without some risk-taking involved; that is at least true for me. For example, when I first started to learn how to snowboard, I was afraid of breaking an arm or leg when I fell down the mountain, so I was somewhat overly cautious and never really enjoyed it. But after I took that first crash into a speedy skier and went tumbling down the hill, I got over it. I must admit though that my buddy served well as a cushion to fall on. I laughed hysterically because I had found something new that I loved to do, and realized that I could do this the rest of my life. God created such a diverse universe for us to explore and love, yet we sometimes refrain from trying something new simply because we don’t trust that things will be alright in the end. So what is my suggestion to all that might read this essay? Go do something new, take a risk, find something that you love, and enjoy this life because it is too short to ask yourself, “What if…?”