Kathryn - Parker, Colorado
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports, work
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During our lives we’re faced with so many elements as well, we experience so many setbacks, and fight such a hand-to-hand battle with failure, head down in the rain, just trying to stay upright and have a little hope. The Tour isn’t just a bike race, it tests you mentally, physically, and even morally. -Lance Armstrong.

This famous quote written by Lance Armstrong applies to everyday life. Everyone is faced with setbacks and failure but success is achieved by one’s ability to persist and overcome challenges. Success does not always mean victory; but rather, one’s dedication and determination to perform their best at every task they embark on. Success means never to surrender to setbacks along the rugged road to victory. Success means to believe in oneself and look challenges in the eye, fighting until the battle is won. Lance Armstrong’s dedication and determination lead him to win the prestigious “Tour de France” bike race an astonishing seven consecutive times. This incredible achievement is an inspiration not only to athletes but to all mankind. This accomplishment demonstrates how life’s challenges (physical, mental, and moral) must never allow one to lose sight of their aspirations and be tempted down the hopeless path of giving up hope. Listening to that voice deep in the soul shouting, “You can,” allows one to achieve all one’s dreams and aspirations and live up to one’s full potential.

My mom once said, “You could dance before you could walk.” I remember these words every time I lace up my delicate pink satin pointe shoes. I have been dancing since I was a mere three years old. Through my eleven years of practicing this art, I have achieved and learned a great deal. The usual ballet class consists of “barre”, in which a dancer practices intricate technique, focusing on every movement of the body while stretching and strengthening every muscle in the body. “Center” or “across the floor” is the second part of class in which a dancer executes challenging leaps and turns combinations building off of the skills practiced at the “barre.” A dancer practices these skills daily to achieve perfection. The somewhat monotonous hours invested in perfecting routines, is finally rewarded when a dancer performs for an awestruck audience that bursts into applause when they witness the whimsical beauty of the dance.

The dance experience is embodied in the famous quote above by Lance Armstrong, because dance presents a battle with oneself to be disciplined mentally and physically. Dancers undergo the monotony of practicing routines for months before experiencing the glory of recognition by the audience. Dancers practice constantly to achieve perfection. Difficulties often arise in a dancer’s career, but in spite of the setbacks, a dancer must continue their vigorous work in order for the brilliant stage light to shine upon them–showcasing their talent.

In order to achieve any aspiration in life, one must continue “even when the going gets rough.” The road that leads to success is not always glamorous and enjoyable, but when one achieves their goal, their hard work and effort shine through rewarding them with the satisfaction of SUCCESS! Success is like the spotlight on a mystical ballerina dancing in an auditorium bursting with applause. Success is like busting the ribbon in the finish line for the seventh time in the Tour de France. Success may be the little voice inside that no longer shouts, “You can do it,” but “You did it!”