This I Believe

Katarina - Athens, Georgia
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I remember when I used to stay up until two in the morning in order to finish reading a Harry Potter book. I already knew that I would have to be up and out of bed in less than five hours, but I did not care, as long as I finished the book.

What was it that drove me to do these sorts of things? The book would still be there the next night, still readable. The cause was my internal subconscious standard: once I decided to do something, I had to finish it.

I have never really cared for running; I have not run a straight mile since elementary school. At the end of July, when I saw advertisements for a 10K road race on Labor Day, I felt like I the race had just challenged me. For the first time in my life, I began voluntarily running. I trained almost every day for the entire month of August in an effort to build myself up for the race. I never reached full distance during my training.

On September 1, I crossed the starting line and knew I could not stop until I reached the finish. The goal had been set, and something in my head told me that I had to keep pushing until the very end. I finished in just under an hour, running becoming my new favorite thing.

I go through this fight in my mind every day and night with my schoolwork. I do not feel like doing any more, I just want to sleep, but the voice in my head reminds me of the goal I set on day one: to graduate number one. No matter how tired or frustrated I get, I just keep pushing.

Probably for as long as I live, I will always be this way: single-minded and unable to stop until I reach the current goal. Then I will move on to the next one.