Melissa - Georgetown, Indiana
Entered on September 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Hard work pays off. Always. This philosophy holds true in all parts of life. The people who persevere are the ones who accomplish the most. Accomplishment is always a good feeling. So, it would stand to reason that those who persevere feel good and are happiest. I want everyone to be happy in life, so I encourage each and every person to try their hardest at everything they do.

I remember my feet hit the gym floor one after another in rhythm. Running usually looks elegant and graceful, but not when I am doing it. My legs burned and my lungs felt like they were about to collapse. I was running a mile with my teammates. Some of them were in front of me, and some behind. On our third lap I felt like dying, but somehow I kept running. I saw a couple girls behind me who had slowed down, and began to walk. I remember my first thought was, “Why are they walking? I am just as tired, but I am working through the pain!” It was a selfish thought, which I regret. But then I realized that they weren’t hurting me; the girls who stopped running were only hurting themselves. My next reaction was one of sadness and disappointment. Those girls didn’t realize that if you quit, then you lose the chance to feel proud of your accomplishments.

I play volleyball, and my coach pushes us everyday to do things none of us think we are capable of doing. But, as we condition, the girls who persevere come out on top. The girls who work hard make the team, because the coach notices their dedication and drive. This holds true in all parts of life. At work, at school, and in everything we do, hard work is the key to success.

I remember a more inspiring memory of when my hard work helped me succeed. It was volleyball tryouts. It was my second year back and I was trying out for JV. I knew there was a freshman coming in who was very tall, and that was a huge advantage over me. So I pushed myself as hard as I could during tryouts. I ran my hardest, played my best, and persevered in every aspect of conditioning. As the coach was making the cuts, I was a nervous wreck. But then, he called my name, and told me that I had made the team! The freshman may have had height on me, but I tried my hardest, and the coach noticed. I am now on the JV team, and I am right alongside the tall freshman, still working as hard as I can.

Hard work and perseverance give us more than just success. These qualities give us a sense of accomplishment when we are finished with our day. If you don’t try your hardest in life, when you go to bed at night you will feel unfulfilled. But no one can make you work hard; it is your choice to be the best you can be. If you cheat yourself, you will always come up short. Perseverance is making yourself run, even when you can’t run anymore. Never quit what you have started, because if you do, you will miss out on the chance to finish. This, I believe.