Tori - Princeton, Illinois
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that determination is a key part of life. In my lifetime I have had many situations where determination has helped me have the will power to do something with a little more effort.

One time I was playing a soccer team that was undefeated; my team had never won a game in the season. From the first kickoff to the final whistle, my team just stood around and did nothing. I, as well as everyone else, knew we were going to lose so everyone just gave up. My team lost by a numerous amount of points, but nobody was upset because it was just a game we didn’t want to play. For me, this was the first and last time I would play less than my best. The next game was a make up game due to bad weather, and we were playing the same team. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had learned my lesson the last game. The whole team came pumped up and ready to go, and I was determined to win. At halftime we came into the huddle and my team was sweating. A few of us had bruises and muscle pains, but that didn’t put a halt to our efforts. The last half was one of the greatest games of soccer I have ever played. Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the other team. We were all playing our hardest. It was because we had motivation but, most importantly, determination to not stop. In the end it paid off as we won by one point.

There is a folktale that relates to this topic very well. It’s called “The Tortoise and the Hare.” In this story the arrogant hare expects an easy win in the race against the tortoise. The tortoise has determination to not stop until he has finished the race. In the story, both the hare and the tortoise learn a lesson. The hare learns not to be so cocky and arrogant, and the tortoise learns that if you have determination you will always feel good about yourself knowing you tried and that you “did the impossible.”

I have learned my lesson that determination is a key part of life, just like the tortoise. For as long as I live, I will remember that soccer game when I had determination to do something that was worth my while. It made me feel great about myself, knowing that I had accomplished something.