Pondering the meaning of any word can be a struggle, as everyone has their own views of what the word really means; it is all perception. Dedication is one of the words that has many different meanings. To some, dedication is waking up every day and getting to work on time. Now, one may think that is a simple task. But maybe that person was the kind of guy who could never hold a job because he forgot to show up to work. Being on time may be his dedication. To me, dedication is much more. The word dedication and persistence go hand in hand. When I wake up every day, hungry to be the best I can, that is not enough. Dedication to me is the countless hours of work I put into myself, because when hockey and baseball season come around every year, I am always ready to be better than I was last time.
Dedication is a part of who I am, and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. The dictionary definition, “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose,” serves me no good (Webster.) By the dictionary definition, someone who commits to anything is dedicated. Maybe this is true, but dedication to me is committing to the betterment of myself.
Simply put, dedication is not easy. To me, it is waking up at 4:30 am early every day in the summer. From there, I make it over to the gym to be the first one there so that all of the equipment is open and ready to use. I may spend an hour in there, or maybe I will spend three. Whatever the case, I am home by 9 am. Many would be ready to hit the sheets again, and sleep for another few hours, but what good does that do? None, because then it is time to go to the hitting cages to get some swings in – after all, practice makes perfect. The time I spend at the cages could range from two hours to four hours, so by this time it is the afternoon. On some days, I go to the ice rink and work on my skills there. Others, I take some time to rest my body. Nonetheless, it is not easy, but it is how I love to spend my summer.
Sometimes dedication is overlooked. A lot of times, no one knows what I do and when I put in work. Sure, they may see that I have gotten better, but they do not know the blood, sweat, and tears that I have put into it all. Better yet, people overlook my academic abilities. While school comes easy to some, being in two sports makes it tough to have time for schoolwork. I try to not let it stop me, though. If I ever find myself slacking off in a class, I make sure to do everything in my power to bring up my grade, whether it be studying until 1 am, or going into school early to seek help prior to a test. Currently, I am working on achieving a GPA of 3.7, and will not stop working until I do.
Thomas Edison once said, (“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”) Be it school work, or work on myself for sports, the word genius is replaceable. This quote brings me back a ways, as I first heard it from my uncle. When I first heard this quote, it struck me profoundly like a plunge in an icy lake. My uncle is a very hardworking man, and has been all his life. He is no superstar, and to some people merely an average man, but to me he is much more. My uncle has not missed a day of work in 7 years. He goes in every day and gives it his best shot, even when he may not be right. He is a successful man, a family man, and I’m proud to call him my uncle. When I asked him how he was able to be such a success, for I used to think money was the definition of success, he answered me this, “It is not always about what you know now. It is not always about what you can do now. It is about working so hard that you become the best at those things you never once could do, or know those things you didn’t know like the back of your hand.” That, like the quote from Edison he later told me, has stayed with me all my life. Dedication is pushing through when you want so badly to give up. When running the marathon, at one point the only thing I had on my mind was giving up. It seemed to be just a matter of when I was going to give up, but I pushed through and finished the race. Dedication is not simply committing to it until you get where your goal is. Rather, it is realizing you hit that goal, only to set the next goal, and keep working for that.
To some people, dedication is waking up in the morning and being on time to work. To me, dedication is putting everything I have into myself. Be it school, work, or sports, I make sure to wake up every day knowing I am better today than I was yesterday. Dedication is believing in yourself every single day, and waking up better than the last day. That is dedication.
“Dedication.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 9 Nov. 2017.
“Quotes about Dedication.” GoodReads.