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Perseverance

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Perseverance
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich. Many people have different perspectives on perseverance but originally it is defined as a steady persistence in a course of action, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragements. To me it is much more than that, it is getting through any obstacle that gets in the way of achieving your goals; it takes commitment, dedication, hard work, endurance and patience. Perseverance is when I push myself every day to be able to play basketball again, it is when Liesel, a character created in the novel ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusack, helps Max, a Jewish man, or when Peter, a German boy, overcomes the pressure to conform to the Nazi ways in the movie ‘The Swing Kids’. I have been taught by various people in my life whether it was directly or indirectly what perseverance is, how it is shown, and why people would want to persevere.
When I think of perseverance I think of when I hurt my knee playing basketball. I was doing so well that game that I got hurt at, that I felt like I had really reached my potential. The last minute I looked up at the clock, I had been on that entire quarter. I told myself to push through my exhaustion and I did. With only one minute remaining I was going hard, jumping to get every rebound, until the last 10 seconds of the game. I jumped to get the rebound and as I was coming down I got pushed in to two different directions by the opposing team and heard a popping sound. I tore my ACL. I could not get myself up, my coaches came to help me but I couldn’t walk, I had to get carried off the court. The pain was excruciating but all I could think about was if that was all there was to my basketball career. After being on crutches and three more months of walking with a bummed leg I was finally told I was going to need surgery if I ever wanted to play high demand activities again. So I came to the decision of getting the surgery, but I missed an entire two seasons of basketball. Although I was not able to play basketball this past school season I decided to become the manager, this included me going to every game and taking stats, and going to every practice to help the coaches out with stuff like taping the girls ankles along with making sure everything was ready to go before hand. For me taking on this role was tough, watching the girls play and work so hard made me miss the sport even more. People would comment on my decision of being the manager about how I don’t have an important role on the team. Being the manager gave me a chance to get my mind off of things like not being able to play. Even though I would always be in the gym surrounded by people playing and talking about basketball it kept me busy and gave me the chance to meet new people and still be around the things I loved however this did take perseverance. I knew that there would be times were being around all this would make me sad, but with my commitment I was willing to fight against that. There were times when I felt like I just wanted to quit with my recovery overall because the feeling of being able to play again felt impossible. These were the times when I couldn’t walk, or run, but I strived beyond what I felt then. Sometimes people ask me if I ever become discouraged just watching and not being able to play. Sometimes I do become discouraged and want to quit but then I think about what this experience provided me with. It gave me a much broader picture. Now I see all the little things it takes to be an athlete such as the amount of commitment and dedication it takes. It shows me the little skills such as working as a team and incorporating every little detail into how you play, these are the skills that win games. It showed me that quitting is not the answer and how you have to persevere to get what you want. My focus and determination come together when I say I am not going to stand for failure. This experience will make me a better basketball player.
My parents persevered when they came to Canada. My dad had his own successful company in Turkey and my mom was going to school to become a hairdresser, and she was planning on opening her own shop. Instead they decided to move to Canada to provide my sister and me a better environment to grow up in. My parents left everything in Turkey and started from scratch when they came to Canada, they knew no English, and had no family to rely on. When they came to Canada they were unsure of what they should have done first, but they started going to English courses and both got part time jobs. My mom worked at a coffee shop and my dad drove trucks. At the beginning this adventure it was tough for them, there were arguments and regrets but in the long run they look back with a smile on their face, they persevered through the tough times and never gave up, because of their perseverance they live in a place with a better economy, and a better environment then what they could have ever imagined. My parents lead me by example the perseverance it takes to be successful. They never gave up even when the biggest obstacles got thrown at them. They took every opportunity with the hopes of a better result in the future. It is important to foreshadow into the future and to be focused on what you want when overcoming obstacles so you have the motivation it takes to persevere.
The movie ‘Swing Kids’ is about a group of kids that came together to overcome the pressure to conform to the Nazi ways. These kids worked hard to stay faithful to what they believed in, they used swing dance as a way to keep each other motivated to not conform. It was put out as a social event that was a big part of Peter’s life; it was made so that the people against the Nazi Party would stick together and not stop persevering. Many young people were involved in this activity which was considered rebellion against the Nazi Party. Throughout the movie the members slowly fade to the Nazi ways except Peter. Peter perseveres till the end even though he has lost all of his friends. At one point he became a Nazi to avoid conflict but later realized it was not right. Towards the end of the movie the Nazi Party invaded the club where the swing kids would dance and it resulted in Thomas, his old buddy that conformed, and Peter to start fighting. Thomas tried to convince Peter to run away because he knew that the Nazi Party wouldn’t give Peter another chance, but Peter refused to leave. Peter made the decision that he was not going to sit on the fence. Even after Peter was taken by the Nazis, he was still showing perseverance because he was prepared to take the punishment that came with his decision to not conform. The commitment he had to staying true to his beliefs kept him persevering throughout the movie. He shows me that persevering sometimes comes at a price, Peter lost his friends because he was so committed to doing the right thing. This picture shown above is Terry Fox, he was an athlete that got diagnosed with cancer and three days later he got his leg amputated. After a year he got an artificial leg and began his marathon of hope across Canada to let Canada be aware of cancer, he reached Thunder Bay all the way from British Columbia but he had to stop there due to the cancer reaching his lungs. When he was at the hospital at this time he was still very motivated to continue on with his run, he was not going to just give up on his goal. Unfortunately after a few months he passed away. He persevered by not letting his amputated leg bring him down, he committed to his run until he had no other choice but to stop. Peter pushed through his pain to help people all over Canada with similar struggles. As of his perseverance the Canadian cancer society has raised over 300 million dollars for cancer research and this number is still growing.
Thoroughly learning and understanding the definition of perseverance made me more aware of how people undertake this concept. This is a difficult trait to adapt. You can’t be told to persevere it is the commitment focus and the willingness you have within you that results in persevering. It is my dedication towards getting my knee better that will hopefully result in me playing basketball again. It is Peter’s dedication that he had in himself, he knew his intentions and was willing to do whatever it took to not be conformed to the Nazi ways in the end. By other people persevering it makes us want to do the same thing, it gives us hope that anybody can overcome anything. Persevering is tough, most of the time there are some things that will be lost during the process to end with the goal you set out for yourself. Being with my group for this project was great, the different types of people made it much easier to grasp this concept.

Bibliography * http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/perseverance.html#z2Dov2XptKpEgZOc.99 * http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/promos/2010/09/13/fox-cp-899916-275.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/fox_terry/&h=400&w=275&sz=31&tbnid=jXGTpQHt_r_ghM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=62&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dterry%2Bfox%2Brunning%2Bacross%2Bcanada%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=terry+fox+running+across+canada&usg=__ROM-IowqPCGSOlDWOfxpqOb3gzw=&docid=TajfBRzXt0k4MM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mZJjUfPaE8H-iwLg44DoBw&ved=0CD4Q9QEwAQ&dur=9644

Bibliography: * http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/perseverance.html#z2Dov2XptKpEgZOc.99 * http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/promos/2010/09/13/fox-cp-899916-275.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/fox_terry/&h=400&w=275&sz=31&tbnid=jXGTpQHt_r_ghM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=62&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dterry%2Bfox%2Brunning%2Bacross%2Bcanada%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=terry+fox+running+across+canada&usg=__ROM-IowqPCGSOlDWOfxpqOb3gzw=&docid=TajfBRzXt0k4MM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mZJjUfPaE8H-iwLg44DoBw&ved=0CD4Q9QEwAQ&dur=9644

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