It’s the 11th inning 2 outs, and I feel the sweat drip down my face. I look down at the ball that’s placed in my glove and back up at the batter. I grab the stitches of the ball and throw a fastball that the batter pops up into the air. It’s caught; the game is over. I sigh in relief, as the fatigue sets in after pitching 11 innings. The achievement I feel floods through my body.
Achievement. There are many different feelings of achievement throughout life. Once one hits that stage of achievement, there always seems to be a gleaming glow of a grin as bright as the sun. It’s like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, achievement is the act of accomplishing or finishing something, and I would have to agree, but achievement means a lot more than just that.
I believe that achievement depends on the standards, and the perception put into it. Achievement comes in small and large sizes. It could be as simple as pressing send on a paper at 11:59 when it’s due at 12:00 or riding a bike for the first time without training wheels as your parents cheer, running behind you. There are so many little things that make us content with life, and we don’t realize that we feel achievement with the smallest daily occurrences.
When an achievement is big, it more than likely indicates you had to work hard for it. The places that I have felt the most achievement was on the volleyball court and on the softball field. In volleyball, I had never been very good, so it took a lot of hard work to see any improvements at all. My team and I had spent 11 out of the 12 months in the gym striving to be the best we could be. When the season started, it was obvious how much time we practiced and it really started to show. Every time we stepped onto the volleyball court and played to our potential, a wave of achievement would flow through me and made me extremely grateful that all of those hours had actually paid off.
In sports, some might say that you can only ever find achievement in winning, but I’ve felt achievement after a lost as well. During my junior year of softball, we found that we were a lot better than expected to be. Playoff time came and I could tell on my teammates’ faces that the nerves were high. A lot of people expected us to go to state and we believed we were good enough to make it there as well. We won our first game pretty easily, but then it was time to play our competition. We didn’t play well and the ending score showed that. We still had a chance to go to state, but we’d have to win 6 games in a row, instead of 3.
As the main pitcher of the team, I knew it was going to take a lot out of me to get those wins for us. The next round of playoffs was held in East Grand Forks on a Thursday, I pitched 16 innings to get us onto the next round. By this time I didn’t even get a day to recover, and we were back playing on a Friday, in Thief River Falls. To go to state, we would have to win 3 games this day. We won the first game, but I knew that I would have to pitch 2 more games against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton to get us there. We lost by 1 run in the first game against them and I was devastated. I felt that I let my team down, but then I remembered that I was part of the reason we had gotten that far in the first place.
Achievement is something I feel when I know I’ve done the best I could, even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted.
Everyone feels achievement in a different way. To me, it is getting that good grade that I’ve been working so hard for. Achievement is finally being able to hit that shot in volleyball that I’ve been working on for weeks or getting a big block and seeing the ball as it hits my hands and falls to the opponent's side of the floor. Being able to finally pitch a rise ball that I’ve been struggling with. It’s the satisfaction you feel after conquering something you’ve worked for. For the smaller things in life, achievement is cooking dinner for my family and having good reactions. It’s the feeling that I get after watching a loved one open a gift from me and loving it. The feeling of giving advice to my friends that I know will help. In all these examples of my life, even though they vary from other’s definitions, this is what achievement is to me.
Napoleon Hill said, “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” I believe if people never feel achievement, they’ve never really wanted something. Life is really just a constant search for those little things to appreciate to bring me some form of achievement, no matter the size. I may not have the perfect life, but I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved in my life so far.
"Napoleon Hill Quotes."BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 07 Nov. 2016
The American Heritage Dictionary. Turtleback, 2012. Print.