Risk Greatly, Achieve Greatly This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Every single day, I am proud of what my father does. He may not have gone to college, but he has taught me more about life than I could ever have learned from a textbook. My father has been a professional harness horse driver for 32 years, and all his success has been a result of his hard work and perseverance.

Horse racing is a dangerous sport and every time my father goes to work he risks serious injury. Aside from horse wrecks astonishing enough to be on “America’s Most Dangerous Videos,” my father has suffered many misfortunes. In 2003, my father’s wrist was shattered on the racetrack and doctors told him he would never race again. My father never gave up, though, and did rigorous exercises every day, even when it seemed like he wasn’t making progress.

Some said that after his injury, he would no longer have the “Campbell touch,” the undeniable talent he has that lets him connect with horses. My father proved those skeptics wrong, though, and five months after his injury, he won the prestigious Hambletonian for the sixth time, more than anyone in the history of the sport. Nobody had predicted he would win, or that he would even be a threat to the favorite. But on that day when the favorite fell to the back, my father was waiting right behind him to finish victoriously. He has taught me that setbacks are only lessons learned and that people who quit do not deserve success. When reporters asked him how it felt to be “back,” he said that he had never left.

My father has never once let others bring him down with crude comments or statements about his talent having faded with age or injuries. The heart he puts into racing is unmatched by any of his competitors. He shows me every day by going to work that taking risks is an inherent part of life which accounts for the thrills. Without those spectacular moments, life becomes a series of negligible images that are easily forgotten.

My father’s achievements have made me see, from a very young age, that success is earned through diligence and effort, and that the opinions of others should never change the willpower within oneself to flourish. If I look back on my life and resemble my father and his accomplishments in any way, I will consider myself lucky.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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