Chris - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

For a very long time, I never believed that hard work would ever pay off. I just trusted my life on luck. Teachers, parents, and peers couldn’t ever put the reality of hard work into my brain and the lack of work showed in my grades. The bad grades didn’t even change my mind.

I was forced to run cross country when I started high school but stuck with it just for the heck of it. I never took it seriously or even put any effort into it. I became well known as the slacker of the team. I considered it a good title, it made me feel like people knew me. I knew they didn’t respect or care much about me but it felt good to be known. I didn’t think of any of my team mates as friends, yet, now they’re some of my closest friends. By the end of my junior year, I started caring about other people’s feelings and how they felt about me. One person in particular changed my mind.

For some reason, Julie has made me push myself to try in school, and in cross country. This summer I ran 40 miles a week with Julie, which, for me, is a lot. Since school started, and since we both attend different schools, it’s hard for us to run together. This means I have to run with the thoughts of meets to show her how I have improved. Soon after summer started Julie and I started dating. This is a major reason I started working to impress her. She is the first person that has ever pushed me to work hard at anything, and this amazes everyone.

The end of junior year, I didn’t care much about the classes I was planning on taking my senior year. So I filled my schedule full of the “slacker” classes. I still have some of the “slacker” classes but I needed a class to push my brain. I decided to get a math class. Everyone assumed I would just get math topics, since it is considered the “slacker” math. To everyone’s surprise I decided to take Calculus. My mother’s reaction was, “Do you think you can actually pass this class?

All my friends’ reactions were similar. The only person who seems to have any faith in me is Julie. But the reactions of my parents and friends do push me to prove them wrong and show everyone I do have potential.

My belief is no longer luck; it is the way we succeed. I now believe that with the right amount of work and a meaningful person in your life pushing you, you can do what you want to do.