"Impossible is just a word invented by wusses, lazy people, and cowards. Nothing is impossible in the hands of a person who's crazy enough to keep trying. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
This is what I have learned in life in my 9 years as an athlete. This is about the time where I transformed a goal that people thought was absolutely impossible, to something I achieved with excellence. That's not to say that I did not have to sweat, bleed, and cry to achieve it.
It was a dark day; one of depression, sorrow and anger. As I climbed out of the pool, after witnessing my time in the 100 yard freestyle, I did not feel obliged to speak to anyone. At that moment, if somebody had walked up to me and tried to speak to me, I would have completely ignored them.
The water dripped off my suit, seeming like each drop that landed on the floor added to my anger. Everything was in slow motion as I walked back to the boy's locker room.
I saw the bright, dazzling smiles of swimmers who had just achieved a best time taunting me. However, I had not. I had failed. Or at least that is what I thought at the time.
I had not known that the most important ingredient for success is failure.
As I was lying on my cool bed, thoughts flew about in my head. I had not talked much to anyone since the big swim meet a few days before. I had thought about my past failures, and how they outnumbered my successes in terms of thousands. This added to my bad mood.
I started to pray to God that I could achieve what I was aiming at. Suddenly, like a bolt of thunder, an idea hit my head. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. Just like that, the famous Winston Churchill quote that I had not read for over a year just popped into my head.
At practice the next day, I told my swimming teammates about my goal time and they all either laughed or replied with a somewhat similar response like, "You can't do it" or "Probably not." Believe it or not, these are the responses that made my goal achievable.
I channeled their responses into my anger each day at practice. When I felt tired, they replayed in my head: you can't do it, that's impossible, don't get your hopes up. All of them, every single one, played back clearly and as if they were taunting me.
The smell of chlorine filled my nose as I stroked through the length of the pool. I can do it, no goal is unachievable, no matter how unrealistic it may seem.
It was the day of the meet where I would determine if my mental strength and physical practice would pay off, the day I had to prove to myself and others that with belief there is no limit to your achievements.
I stood on the block seconds before my race would start and thought about my whole journey to this day. I was willing to die for this, and I would not let myself fail.
The ten seconds of thinking seemed like years. I stepped on the diving block and tightened my goggles. I heard the warning: "Swimmers are you ready?" Then the beep sound, marking the beginning of the race, went off.
I sprung like a cheetah off of the block and dove with perfect form into the pool. I felt the cool water glide across my back. I gritted my teeth and was off like a fish, bouncing off each turn at the wall as if it was a trampoline.
Thoughts ran through my head. I need this! I need this!
On the last turn, I came back to the wall with every piece of strength I had. I touched the final wall with my fingertips and I knew that I had swum the perfect race.
I sprung my head out of the water, and panned my eyes in slow motion towards the scoreboard that had the times...
I had done it! I had achieved my best time!
Joy filled my heart like water fills a cup. Tears rolled down my cheek and I started sobbing more than women after they watch Titanic. I saw the expressions on all of my friend's faces as I climbed out of the pool; their jaws dropped to the ground. I began to laugh and gave them the thumbs up.
In life, it is only those who can visualize success and believe that they can achieve anything, and those who get up after being knocked down, those people will become champions in whatever they are pursuing, whether it is in athletics, business, or life. This is the importance of belief.
I have learned in life that having belief in yourself opens all gates. Never forget that anything the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.
Written in 2009 by Sami I. --- California
My name is Samy. I am a 15 year old boy in high school with a strong belief that nothing is impossible. I like motivating and being motivated. I am currently in pursuit of a dream to become an Olympic swimmer gold medalist.