Joyce - Apple Creek, Ohio
Entered on April 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in persevering until I meet my goal. It was the Ohio Middle School Track Meet and the sun was shining. My relay team and I were waiting to run the 4×2 relay. We had just gotten off the podium for the 4×1 relay and we were furious. The announcer had made us look like fools when he told us that we got first place and we actually placed second by a few tenths of a second. He corrected himself and we were not happy with our now, seemingly small, accomplishment anymore. My relay team lined up for the 4×2 and we were running against the team that had barely beaten us in the 4×1. I knew that there was no way I would lose to them twice. The starter called my heat up to our blocks. I was glad we were in lane one, my favorite lane. I was nervous but I was ready to run. I clenched our gold baton in my hand. Boom! The gun went off and I sprinted around the curve. I passed everyone except the girl that had beat us in the previous race. I was on the straightaway, I wanted to slow down, my legs were dead and my shoulders hurt, but I pushed myself. I didn’t slow down, I gasped out, “stick” to my teammate, handed the baton off, and she flew around the track. We won the 4×2, by about 15 feet. And I contribute this to the fact that I believe in persevering until I meet my goal.

I believed we would win the 4×2 and that I could finish my 200 hard. Because of this, I ran my fastest 200 time ever and we won. This is the mindset I try to keep in my other sports. We had young volleyball and basketball teams this season. I struggled through inexperience and teamwork problems to earn varsity time for both sports. It was difficult for me to keep a positive attitude, especially when we weren’t winning. When practices were hard, I refused to slow down and I pushed myself as best I could and encouraged others. I didn’t see good results until after the season, when I was able to see my growth on the varsity court.

As Persius once said, “He who endures, conquers.” Many athletes and inventors had similar mindsets. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he was able to invent the light bulb. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Albert Einstein failed his first college entrance exam. All of these people had to overcome obstacles. The main reason they were able to have such great success is because they believed they could become something great and they didn’t let failure stop them from trying. So if anyone is to ever succeed, they need to push themselves past the difficult roadblocks because these will only make a person stronger. “He who endures, conquers.”