Tristan Smith


The event that really shaped my mindset of working hard everyday was back in 10th grade. It was in PE class and I didn’t want to workout so I just decided to skip and listen to music on my phone. However, one of the upperclassmen, Rod, caught me skipping the workouts and told me straight up,” If you don’t workout right now, I will call you out at football practice.” To “call someone out at football practice” basically meant that when we do hitting drills at practice someone can point out a specific person at that person must be his hitting partner. 

I didn’t want to be Rod’s hitting partner but at the same time I didn’t want to work out. So instead of just going to do the workout that I did every day I just stayed where I was and kept listening to music. When football practice rolled around I could tell that Rod was mad. However the first hitting drill wasn’t a one on one drill. It was a drill called gauntlet, where the defender had to run through three guys and try to knock down a pad. Since Rod had the chance he was the third person and another two seniors volunteered to be the other two guys after hearing that I skipped workouts. We went for a total of three times and I only knocked the pad down once. These were basically the three best players on the team and they were talking trash the whole time. Since they were talking trash I got pretty mad but it was already someone else’s turn at the gauntlet. 

Later that practice the coaches saw that the team was still fired up so we did tackling drills. When it was my turn I looked across the field and saw that Rod is at running back. Rod had already in his mind taught me the lesson so he wasn’t going to go too hard. However I was mad at them for talking trash in gauntlet. So when we ran to do the drill I saw Rod was going about fifty percent and took my chance. I got a clean, hard hit and tackled him to the ground. Nobody expected me to go full speed but everyone was fired up. Rod got mad and told the coaches to go again. When I got up to the line again I was pretty confident I could still take him. That was until we hit for that second time. When I hit him my body instantly hit the ground and I got run over. Rod wasn’t satisfied with that so he called it back again for another three times doing the same thing over and over again. During this I started to think what was the difference between me and him, how was he so much stronger. It was then I realized that on those days where I would just listen to music and skip workouts. Rod would still be in there working out. That was the difference, his dedication to do what he was supposed to do no matter if he felt like it or not. From that day on, I went to every workout and it has made a big difference. For the past two years I have been a starter on offense and defense and have made a huge difference on the line. However this lesson was not restricted to football. In school, I have continued to be dedicated to my grades and currently have a 3.8 GPA.

In conclusion, hard work will also beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard. No matter if you are talented or not, make sure you do your best in whatever you are involved in and make sure to do it day in and day out.