Example

Before

I have always been up to a challenge. When people doubt me it only pushes me to work harder and accomplish whatever is put in front of me. Stepping out of my comfort zone is nothing new to me, and gives me courage when I do so. However, doing something entirely new as a senior in high school has been a completely different story.

Although I had never played an organized game of football in my life, I decided to join the football team this year. Football is a sport I’ve always loved to watch, but not something I ever considered playing. My high school career had been pretty standard and unexciting up to that point and I felt I wanted to prove something to myself, my friends and others. With my friends’ encouragement, along with my natural desire to pursue and try new and different things, I decided toward the end of junior year that I was going to play high school football in 2010. I set my mind to it and from that point on there was no going back. I expected this new challenge to be hard, but never did I realize it would be as tough as it has turned out to be.

It’s pretty rare for a student to go out for a high school football team for the first time as a senior and my coach even said he can’t recall the last time this has happened. I was way behind all the other seniors on the team, anywhere from four to about eight years, to be precise. I had to learn the plays and get stronger twice as fast as the other players and I had to do it more often. I could not miss any chance I had to get stronger; I gave up being able to wake up late in the summer and instead woke up at 6:30 a.m. every week from Monday to Thursday to work out. I had to keep myself motivated the whole time otherwise I would not have been able to keep up the work effort I was putting in every day.

Since school started I have had practice every day after school and I tend not to get home until around 6:00 o’clock at night. It is truly a struggle having to come home day after day of grueling practices and then do hours of homework as well. But there is no way I am going to give up that easily. Granted, I have had my fair share of doubts. It has been a much harder process than I ever imagined it would be and I have even considered quitting once or twice.

But my persistence has paid off and I know that I would have regretted quitting if I had done so. So far, this new experience has taught me so much. I have learned new, important concepts like time management. Best of all, I have become a part of a team, an experience I have never previously known. We are like a family and I will always remember these days and cherish them for the rest of my life. I cannot be happier that I pushed myself to try something completely new before my high school career ended.

After

I have always been up to a challenge. When people doubt me it only pushes me to work harder and accomplish whatever is put in front of me. Stepping out of my comfort zone is nothing new for me, and I find inner courage when I do so. However, trying a sport for the first time as a senior in high school has been a completely different story.

Although I had never played an organized game of football in my life, I decided to join the junior varsity football team this year. Football is a sport I’ve always loved to watch, but not something I ever considered playing. My high school career had been pretty standard and unexciting up to that point and I felt I wanted to prove something to myself, my friends and others. With my friends’ encouragement, along with my natural desire to pursue and try new and different things, I decided toward the end of junior year that I was going to play high school football. I set my mind to it and from that point on there was no turning back. I expected this new challenge to be hard, but never did I realize it would be as tough as it has turned out to be.

It’s pretty rare for a student to go out for a high school football team for the first time as a senior and my coach even said he can’t recall the last time this has happened. I was way behind all the other seniors on the team; anywhere from four to about eight years, to be precise. I had to learn the plays and get stronger twice as fast as the other players and I had to do it more often. I gave up being able to wake up late in the summer and instead woke up at 6:30 a.m. every week from Monday to Thursday to work out. I had to keep myself motivated the whole time otherwise I would not have been able to keep up the work effort I was putting in every day.

Since school started I have had practice every day after school and I tend not to get home until around 6:00 at night. It is truly a struggle having to come home day after day of grueling practices and then do hours of homework as well. But there is no way I am going to give up that easily. Granted, I have had my fair share of doubts. It has been a much harder process than I ever imagined it would be and I have considered quitting once or twice.

But my persistence has paid off. So far, this new experience has taught me so much. I have learned new, important concepts like time management and how to put 100 percent effort into everything I do. Best of all, I have become a part of a team, an experience I have never previously known. We are like a family and I will always remember these days and cherish them. I cannot be happier that I pushed myself to try something completely new before my high school career ended. It’s a rewarding feeling to know that I can look back on my high school years without any regrets. This is a lesson I will carry with me going forward and I know I won’t ever give up on something worthwhile no matter how hard things get.