Looking down my lane, everything becomes silent. My heart beats louder than the yelling of teammates and coaches. At last, I hear the gun, and off I go. Nothing goes through my head. I put one foot in front of another, striding out and sticking behind a fellow runner. After four laps of sheer pain, I’m finally done. I look toward my coach. Gasping for air, I manage to spit out the word “time?” 4:33 is the response I get. With a smile I pump my fist. Finally, after three years of harsh winter practices, spring track workouts, miles and miles of hills- I did it. I beat my time from freshman year. Even if it was only by a second, I did it. And I never gave up.
Never give up.
It’s something simple that is pounded into every kid’s head from day one. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t quit when times get tough. Push yourself. The clichés go on and on. But not giving up is more than a cliché in my life. It’s something my mom lived by.
Every time I thought about quitting a sport, or giving up on a project, she wouldn’t allow it. When my dad was hanging by a thread from the terrible effects of cancer, she was the one who wouldn’t let him quit.
Four years ago, my mom was taken from me by a massive heart attack. Suddenly, without warning, without a fight, she was gone.
After my mom’s death, I didn’t know what to do. There were times I thought about giving up on everything. School. Sports. Life. But in the back of my head, I could always hear my mom’s voice, and every second I spent with my dad was a living reminder not to give up. When given a challenge, whether it’s academically, athletically, or in life, I devoted myself never to quit, no matter the circumstances– even if it’s just for a second.