A Shot At Gold

Melissa - New York, New York
Entered on January 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in never putting a limit on your dreams. This past summer, while curled up on my couch, watching the Beijing Olympics, I was mesmerized by Michael Phelps: in my opinion, the greatest athlete of all time. During every swim, I would cheer him on, screaming at the top of my lungs, hoping he would reach his goal of winning eight gold medals. I hoped that no matter the circumstance, Phelps would push himself that extra mile, and never give up. In the end, he succeeded.

I had never really thought much about how far my dreams could take me; dreams such as being an inspirational professional golfer, a role model for others. I didn’t bother to look past the obvious. For me, there were such things that were impossible to achieve. That is, until I witnessed an interview with Michael Phelps concerning his 8 gold medals. He simply stated, “You can never put a limit on your dreams.” In this moment, my perspective on life had changed.

I felt invincible. My usual state of vulnerability had been washed away with a new one; thus, I could now achieve the impossible. Maybe now, I thought to myself, I could be a superb, unbeatable golfer. I felt like a superhero: like the Hulk with unthinkable strength, or Superman with the uncanny ability to fly around the planet. I was acting a bit ridiculous. Suddenly, there seemed to be an unlimited number of possibilities.

Because of this sudden burst of possibilities, I looked at my dreams in a whole new light. I could visualize myself hitting a golf ball two hundred and fifty yards down the middle of the fairway. I could hear the fans screaming at my side cheering me on, just as I had for Michael Phelps. I could feel the heat, the nervousness, rising in my chest. I could smell the fresh, crisp air, invigorating my gold swing. I could taste the fulfillment, the achievement, clenching my teeth together. I could look at people, and places, and give them a different meaning. Everything in my mind became clear, as if pushed into an abrupt state of realization. I became aware that I could achieve anything, anything in the world, if I truly put my mind to it. Michael Phelps had inspired me.

Due to Michael Phelps’ influence, I have worked more diligently in every aspect in my life. I’ve been pushing myself more in school, at home, and even in little things such as cleaning the bathroom, or making a bed. I now see, that the harder that you work at something, the more you benefit from it. I have learned to always give 110% of myself, to never give up, and to never put a limit on my dreams.