This I Believe

Nikki - Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Injured or Not

My whole life I have believed that hard work and dedication will pay off in the long run. Being a swimmer I have lived my life by this and reaped in the rewards and successes it has brought me. You have to believe in something when you are pounding out the yardage everyday for practices lasting sometimes well over two hours long, and enduring the hard dry land workouts, even when we all know swimmers are not the most coordinated athletes on land.

For fourteen years now I have been striving to maintain a good work ethic and have done well. This year however, my value of hard work took on a different role which was not easy for me. The first month being back at school and training with the swim team at TCU I sprained my ankle while running hills at practice. Not wanting it to interfere with my season, I pushed through and did everything I could. After about two months of rehab with the trainers, not being able to run or do leg lifts, getting stim and ultrasound treatments before and icing after practice, I was finally at my full strength again. Wait a week, and I hyper extended my elbow while doing under waters at practice, and I was back out of it. It took me another month of treatments and icing to get back to good condition.

Even though I was injured most of my season I did not let this get to me. I believe in persistence and believe that hard work and dedication will pay off. At the end of the season I was able to pull off personal best times at my taper (rest) meets and end the year with a bang. Looking at the results of this past year, I believe that whatever I put my mind to, I can do and I can achieve anything.

My injuries however do not stop at the end of the swimming year. About a month ago I began having foot pain and will be spending the day in the hospital in a few days to figure out what is wrong. But this pain will not keep me from trying my hardest and putting forth an effort. They can tell me not to run, not to lift, and put me in a boot, but I will continue on and keep training. I kind of believe in the rain or shine saying, except with me it’s more like injured or not, I will persevere.

The values that hold true in my life are greatly in thanks to swimming. The foundations are formed and through the reward system they have been upheld. I am also able to take my value of hard work and determination that I have learned through swimming and apply it to my daily life. I utilize my talents and relate them to things such as work, school and relationships. I believe in hard work. I believe in persistence. I believe in dedication. I believe in me.