I have a true underdog story to tell you. Not an amazing story about a close soccer game, not an amazing story about a CAIS tournament final. This is a story about Stanstead softball.
Yes, we have softball at the school. It is an intramural sport. The group of about 60 softball players are divided into four teams with student captains, and, of course, I was captain of the worst team.
I am not afraid to say we were the worst. We were. We lost every game we played. It was not a fun season. We would lose 24-4, 14-8, 6-1. It was a brutal year. The other teams would continually push us to quit every game because we would lose by so much. They would berate us for not giving in. However, I wouldn’t let my team give in. I would always say, “No, we aren’t going to quit. We are going to finish the game.” It was not a very popular choice, but I stuck with it.
After every game, I would bring my team together and tell them not to give up; to persevere. I said that with hard work, determination and positivity, we would get a win. Without a doubt in my mind I believed that we could – we would! – win.
Then, our last game came. We had lost in the semi-final and were playing the consolation game. Before we started that game, I told my team, “This is where we win.” In that game, every one of my teammates hit or made it on base. Almost everyone had a catch, and everyone worked hard. The game showed how we had grown as players and as a team. We won that game by 8 runs. It was truly an amazing softball game.
It is these principles – hard work, determination and positivity – that I live by every day. I find this story to be a very important life lesson. The same principle can be applied to any sport, any class or any activity you do. No matter what, you cannot put your head down and accept defeat. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost almost every basketball game this season or you always come second in house competitions. When things don’t go your way, you can’t give up and drag down others around you. You have to pick yourself up and bring the others around you up as well.
The number of times I have lost in games, been picked last in a recess game, been told I wasn’t good enough are innumerable. But it’s not about how I’ve been put down, how many times I’ve fallen. It’s not what defines me and it’s not what should define you. Ask anyone who knows me very well: I don’t quit. I don’t give up. I could be faced with immeasurable odds and I will never let it take me down.
It isn’t how you fall down that matters, it’s how you get back up. I will leave you with this: always work hard, be resolute and keep up the positivity. With that, you can make it pretty far.