This I Believe

Kathryn - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in rising to a challenge. Rising to a challenge means that you are determined to do something that will be difficult, even though it may not be rewarding in the end. It means that you are willing to fail as long as you try your very best.

When I started high school I thought it would be fun to start playing badminton. I was a little hesitant since I was already successfully playing tennis and I did not know if I could handle a second sport. I decided that I would miss out if I did not try. For both my junior and senior year I was on the varsity badminton team. I had no idea how intense badminton could be when I started, but I soon found out. The team and I endured long practices five days a week. Our coach made us work tremendously hard. When the end of the season approached during my junior year, my teammates and I realized we were actually in the state finals. I could not believe it, but we won! We won the state 5A title and the accomplishment felt like nothing had ever felt.

My senior year, my teammates and I worked even harder, practicing six days a week. Our challenge was to repeat our state title. This time we knew our goal and we wanted it more than anything. We also knew the competition would be difficult. During the state finals we all pushed ourselves to the limit. We had long, tiring, and very close matches, but sadly, we were defeated. Every teammate was disappointed, of course. It was the closest match we had all season–having gone undefeated until then. At first, we felt sad and angry. What we didn’t realize at that moment was that we did earn second place in the state! That was a huge accomplishment. I will never forget my team and the fun and success we had. During my very first day at badminton practice, I would never have guessed that I would be a part of the team winning first, then second place in the state. Deciding to play badminton was one of the best decisions I have made. The challenge helped me to take on difficult tasks. Not only did we have the time of our lives playing badminton in high school, but we all plan to continue in college. Badminton has definitely provided me with my best memories. It has also provided me with life lessons as well. Going after something you really want requires dedication and persistence. You may come across success but you will also go through failures. Being able to handle the result is part of the challenge. The only thing that matters is that you make an effort, do something you believe in, and rise to every occasion.