This I Believe

Jacob - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I used to swim at a club team out in Naperville. The Naperville “Riptides” would use many different pools and every location was a hassle and a trial to get to on time.

Last summer we would have a practice in the morning before many of the people in this class were even awake. It would start at 5:30 which would mean I would have to wake up a little after 4 to put on some clothes, throw down some food, and hit the road. It was not even nearing dawn yet, and the moon and stars could still be seen faintly. We would practice until 7:30 and I would go home.

Then I would enjoy my day until about 7 at night, when I would get back into the car and drive back out to Naperville for our second practice. We then swam through dusk and until 10 at night. Then I would ride home to get sleep before our practice the next morning.

Those mornings and those nights were difficult to handle physically and mentally. I would swim and watch the sun rise and then I would swim and watch the sun set. It was madness. In those last moments before I rolled out of sleep and in those last moments before I feel asleep in the car on the way home at night I would wonder: Why am I doing this?

The answer is dedication. This is what I believe in; completely dedicating yourself to a cause and striving to always stay strong and true to that course no matter the suffering. Too many people these days; and more specifically too many people of our generation decide to give up in the middle of a task or to complete a job only half-heartedly and sloppy. This complacency and lack of effort leads to a trend of weakness that will ruin our values. I believe that the only way to stay strong and not become a weak-willed country is to continually say to yourself, “I will do everything that I can,” and know full well you will. Dedication will keep our society and values whole. In that, I believe.