Gotta Catch ‘em All

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Pokemon: an imaginary species made for child entertainment. But it is beneficial in ways more important than entertainment. Ash Ketchum, the main character, grows up as an individual and as a friend. Whether he is training to defeat a gym leader, or battling to boost the stats of his Pokemon, Ash is constantly working to improve. Squirtle to Wartortle to Blastoise and Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard. The evolution of the Pokemon goes along with the maturation of Ash. If Ash doesn’t focus on improving himself, his Pokemon don’t improve, resulting in failure.

Playing Pokemon on my Gameboy Color is more than a hobby. It provided more than entertainment. It showed me what it takes to succeed in the real world. A dream doesn’t just come true, it is earned. Playing Pokemon provides an opportunity to grow up in a matter of hours. It is more than walking around and killing creatures. It requires making strategies to beat any of the eight gym leaders, capturing and training Pokemon, and exploring on your own. Growing up requires making decisions and living with the consequences.

Developing from a child to a boy to a man is the same as the development of a Pokemon. A Pokemon must be trained by someone more experienced then it. After it’s trained, it is time to put it to the test. And after a certain point, it becomes its own Pokemon and no longer need a trainer. This is just like the development of a student. After learning from parents, a student goes to elementary school and then high school, where they are taught everything. After high school, it is time for college. At college, no one will make sure students go to class. No one will come to them if they are missing an assignment. College is the time to apply what was learned in childhood and use it to be successful in the real world.

Ash’s hope to “catch ‘em all” is his definition of success. My definition is not to capture every type of creature in the world. It is not to be famous, nor is it to be the richest man in the world. My definition of success is to be my own man, to pass my knowledge on to others and to live as a free man. Success for me is “catching ‘em all,” in my own way. To me, “catching ‘em all” means ESPN. A reporter. An anchor. An author. All of the above. Being on ESPN is my childhood dream. “Catching ‘em all” means having a dream, chasing a dream, fulfilling a dream.





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