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Being a Winner

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“KEEP RUNNING” All I could hear was my coach yelling, “THE OTHER TEAMS WILL FEEL THESE HILLS LATER”. A champion is a hard word to describe; it could be an Olympic gold medalist or an hour of rigorous, continuous, tiresome, hills. But I believe that a true champion isn’t always the one who wins the most but the one with the most guts.

I stepped into the gym, it was the first day of practice for all the girls but for me, it was my first practice ever. Even though the gym was cool, I felt hot. I had never played basketball before but I was ready to try. Playing basketball was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But I worked really hard. On Saturdays I stayed after practice to work on my shot and I would play at home with my brother so I could get better. My first game began unexpectedly, I was on the court. I worked really hard and I even got a point. Even though our team hasn’t won every game so far it took guts for me to go out there and go for something new, and through this I became a champion.

Soccer is a different story, this is something I have been doing since I could walk, but when I woke up at 6:30 a.m. that first two-a-day of the summer, I knew I had never played soccer like this. Our conditioning was rough. Everyday I came home exhausted, we shot and passed and worked on foot skills, and then… we ran some more. But the pre-season paid off. West Jessamine was consistently ranked 5th in the state the whole season. And I was proud to be a part of that team, but we were determined; we wanted to be number one. I remember one day I came out to practice after a really big win the night before. Everyone on the team was expecting a rewarding practice with games shooting and walk throughs. It turns out that practice was a different kind of rewarding than expected. When the words “Hit the hill” left coaches mouth…nothing seemed rewarding to me except home. But coach was right, running all those hills, all season long, paid off when we won our region and ruined Lexington Catholics shot at a state title. We were champions not only because we were the better team but because we had the most heart, and the guts.

After 28 hours round trip, one night at a hotel, and seven days of living in an abandoned glove factory my life would never be the same. Working for three weeks over the course of a year in Pascagoula Mississippi to help with hurricane Katrina relief, I was changed. When my youth group went to Mississippi we were working with a program called a hundred homes in a hundred days. This program was working to get a hundred families that had been devastated by the hurricane, back at home in 100 days. I met a lot of amazing people down there. Including Ms. Carla and her family. They were the family we were building for. And I am sure that they changed my life more than I changed there’s. When we were down there my group rebuilt Mrs. Carla’s beauty salon and she was so thankful, it was hard to leave and there were a lot of tears, but they were happy tears because I knew I’d be back. Even though going to Mississippi wasn’t at all a competition I definitely became a champion.

Being a winner isn’t always getting a trophy, this is what I’ve learned and this is what I believe. My life is changed because of things that have made me a champion and it makes me an all around better person.





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