The personal challenge that I faced mainly dealt with my health. Ever since I was child, I was very sick physically. The doctor recommended that I not play or participate in any type of sports because of my poor health. This led to a lack of confidence in myself to perform my best. I have always thought that there was a barrier somewhere in my life, and I could not pass that barrier because if I did then my life would certainly be in ruins. I was told that no one could perform many tasks at once and be successful. Ever since, I always have an image that if I participated in activities at school then I would do poorly in my school work. I never pushed my limits to the maximum to challenge myself. It was as if there was a wall standing in front of me blocking me from being successful. I was always afraid that the consequences might be permanent and my grades would drop.
For years, I have always focused my energy and time into studying and being successful for my future. I never participated in any activities in or outside of school. I would sometimes help my mom take care of the housework because they have to work hard to keep the house financially stable. Maintaining a 3.7 or higher GPA throughout my middle and high school years, I was very happy with my academic accomplishments. In my sophomore year, my vice-principal and counselor encouraged me to join an after-school activity so that I would be qualify to be a member of the National Honor Society during my junior year. I gave a lot of thought to this during sophomore year, and I decided that I should at least try one sport. I joined the softball team, but because of my lack of skills, I was cut from the team. However, I did not give up because my motto is “Once you give up, you give up everything including life.” I always go by this simple principle and this is what keeps me going on even today.
Then I tried outdoor track and found myself struggling and being the slowest person in school. I did not run any race during the meet for that entire year. I was angry at myself for the year. I told myself, “If others can do it, then you can too.” Throughout my life, I have always tried to challenge myself by trying to succeed. I always have set high standards in myself. I would never let myself be ranked low among others whether it is school work or anything else. At first, I thought that something would have to be sacrificed because it is nature’s law to make man not perfect. No one can do well in more than one thing and that is what I believed for the first half of my life. That philosophy however had been shattered by a boy who I met while running for the track team. He was the most perfect boy I have ever met in my life. He was valedictorian of the class of ’90 and an outstanding athlete. He opened the gateway to another world for me.
I told myself, “If He can do it, then I can certainly do it also.” From then on, I realized that there is no limit to what a human can do if they put their mind to it. This opened another world to me. I enjoy sports, especially running and swimming. During my junior year, I joined cross country, indoor track, the swim team, and outdoor track. My time in running has improved dramatically, especially during my senior year. I am now captain of the cross country team and co-captain of the swim team. I have improved my time after ever swim meet, track meet, or cross country meet. Even more importantly, I still was able to maintain a very high GPA. This proved to me that I can do anything if I only try.
The insight which I have gained from this experience has given me a great boost of self-esteem. I learned that there are no limits to what a human being can do if he or He only does their best. To further prove my theory, I got a job during the summer and kept it during the school year. I am also currently taking four Advanced Placement classes during my senior year along with after school activities. I am doing this to help myself be prepared for college and to further improve my life, because I am spending more time doing other activities such as sports, homework, and going to work. I am hoping to continue being conscientious throughout my college years, as I strive to do my best academically.