Through The Fire of Fear

Despite what anyone tells you, following your dreams is hard.  Over the previous month, I have been required to conquer my fears and deal with failures.  As I have dealt with these fears, it has also lead to GREAT victories.  These victories have only come to light due to perseverance.   

When I was in high school, I was an avid runner.  I was a part of the school's track and cross country team.  It wasn't long after I began to run, that I found out I had a real possibility to be the BEST distance runner at my school.  When I started out, I was extremely out of shape.  Until this point, I had never participated in organized sports.  I knew it would be a challenge, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept.  

When I started, I was the WORST on the team.  Every practice, my teammates would lap me.  I would be exhausted while they were simply warming up.  I knew that it would take hard work for them to even consider me a member of this team.  One of my coaches made it his mission, to make me a great runner.  He would call me in to practice before the others.  After practice had concluded, I remained there for extra workouts.  I was put on a strict diet.  It wasn't long before I was running side by side with my teammates.  

The guys I use to look up to, soon graduated.  I was left as the veteran on the team.  It was time for me to lead the new members of the team and set the example.  I can't even begin to explain the pain I felt elevating myself to the next level of competition.  I was tired.  I wanted to throw up.  I doubted myself.  I wanted to quit.

There was so many reasons why I couldn't be the best.  But I only needed ONE reason to be successful.  My father.  My father was a track star when he was in high school.  I can remember seeing the look in his eye as he sat from the stands and watched his son compete.  It was a look of pride.  I didn't want to let my father down.  So I fought through the pain, I put in the hours, and I made it.  

How could it be that a child who had never shown any athletic promise, became the best distance runner on the team?  It is a lesson that I have taken with me throughout my years as an adult.  I proved to myself that whatever I want in life, I can achieve it with hard work.  Through the fire, through the pain, through the heartache...you can achieve success.