Adversity

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AP Language and Composition

Definition Essay

Ms. Matz

2/13/13

Adversity

Adversity is defined as a condition marked my misfortune, calamity, or distress (dictionary.com). Whether miniscule or detrimental, every person has dealt with an adverse situation at some point in his or her life. Based on this, it is not being presented with adversity that separates one person from another; it is how they deal with it. The 2011 Andover High School football team walked onto the field every week with eighteen eligible players. They fought every game and never quit on themselves or each other, because giving up was not considered an option. Although they went 0-9, they were not seen as a failure because they defied all odds and finished out the season. Now look ahead to the 2012 Andover High School football team: a team faced with a similar situation and they did not make it past the third game. This was not due to a smaller team or larger opponents, not anything close. It was due to the fact that these players had quit in them from the start; they simply could not handle the difficulty of the situation in front of them (Nicholas). If you walk around on the street and ask people what adversity means to them, most will tell you that it is an unfortunate situation that people face, however, there is another way of looking at it, an opportunity; an opportunity to become great.

The clearest way to notice an adverse situation and how people overcome them is through an examination of the sports world. As William Arthur Ward once said, “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records,” and that is exactly the difference between regularity and greatness (“Brainy Quote”). If you look at any Hall of Fame athlete, or any athlete that we consider to have achieved greatness, you will notice that they all have one thing in common; the ability to persevere through any obstacle. Every great athlete has had to overcome at least one major setback over the course...
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