The way I was watched gave me a sneaking suspicion. All the eyes locked on me crippled my movement. The stress and anxiety made me blind. The premade expectations seemed further away than ever. No one likes to lose, but in losing winners are born. Failure is as much a compliment as an insult. Failure brings fire to one’s veins. The fault of losing breaks you down, but the only way to gain muscle is to break down fibers and rebuild again. The greatest way to experience greatness is getting through when you feel like nothing. There is no better feeling than getting back up. Countless hours being put in the weight room and on the field. Research and time put in to master your craft. Eating, drinking, and surrounding yourself with all the tools to be better than you were before. That is what it means to get back up. Working harder than the rest. Life is full of failures and victories, highs, and lows. My definition of an athlete is anyone who is willing to work harder than the rest to be the best. Being born with athleticism is not what makes you an athlete, it is how you use it. The courage to stare your enemy in the eyes with your chest out and shoulders high defines your athleticism. You can be an athlete no matter what activity or profession you are in. Doctors, priests, and even teachers can all be athletes. If one decides to try and be the best they can be at whatever they do, that’s what deserves a medal. The way I was watched crippled me the first time. When I got back up the next time, I wanted people to watch me. So they could see for themselves, what it means to compete. Success shouldn’t be measured by how much money or fame you obtain. Success should be measured by the amount of time, blood, devotion, sleep deprivation, late nights, early mornings, sweat, tears, failures, and how you pick yourself up after.

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