Hard Work Pays Off

Jordon - Mason City, Iowa
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I firmly believe that hard work pays off. This became my credo in fifth grade when I started to play sports and now it’s in everything I do.

I used to be an unathletic, short, chubby, nerdy fifth grader until I started flag football. My talent couldn’t match any of the other kids because I never played sports and was five years behind them in skill. Although my team went undefeated and won the city tournament I felt the need to improve. I started going to football camps in the summer and working on agilities in my backyard.

I started playing tackle football in seventh grade, a little taller, faster, stronger, and thinner. After the season my coaches talked to me about going out for wrestling but I didn’t go out. My eighth grade coaches explained to me that wrestling would help make me a better athlete.

Once again I found myself playing catch up but instead of five years behind it was eight. I did horrible and wanted to quit after winning only one match all season. My dad wouldn’t let me; he told me to keep working hard and never give up. This time hard work had a new meaning, lifting weights.

Going into my freshman year I spent the summer in the weight room five days a week, two hours a time. I raised my bench press from ninety-five pounds to one hundred and thirty-five over the summer and was squatting over two hundred. I even made room for three football camps and two wrestling camps.

My junior year I severely sprained my right elbow at a wrestling meet, my season was over. I spent two weeks with my right arm in a splint and another two in a sling. Surgery was almost reality until my MRI showed only a server sprain. Unfortunately, motion in my right arm was limited from a month without movement, meaning physical therapy.

When I started physical therapy I couldn’t move my right arm an inch; my flexibility was gone. The trainers worked with me three days a week for a month until I could start training on my own again. I was back at square one, fifth grade all over again.

At first I could barely bench press the bar and by the end of the week I up to a hundred and five pounds. I kept working and playing catch up, hoping to possibly make gains. By the end of the month my bench press was passed where it was in the fall, I was gaining.

Finally my hard work paid off my senior year after eight years of hard work and dedication. In football I received All-Conference Honorable Mention and in wrestling the coaches award.

This experience of growth has carried over into everything I do. It’s helped me with school, sports, and work. Right now, I go to school for eighteen hours a week and work for twenty-one, still finding time for homework, volunteer coaching, and fun time. I know that all of my hard work now will pay off in the end.