Greatness takes time, dedication
Challenges arise everyday in different shapes and forms, teaching us how to improve. With discipline we learn to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, and learn how to achieve them efficiently. Students accomplishing their goals is not always impossible when they discipline, commit, and focus on what they want to achieve.
Professional tricker and tumbler Dom Lewis began as a child playing in the backyard and teaching himself how to tumble. At age 16 his hobby became a passion and Lewis attended gyms, flattering coaches with his abilities.
Though his passion came with a promising future, Lewis attended Northwood University, earning his bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and Management. Throughout his studies in college, Lewis never abandoned his enthusiasm for tumbling and tricking.
“I started tricking after many years of self-taught tumbling,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t until I was 18 that a good friend of mine who got me into tricking convinced me to combine the tumbling with martial arts kicks and other freestyle movement. I’ve continued to do it because I love it so much and has always been a good stress relief.
“Of course there were times I wanted to give up, as it goes with any sport or passion when times get tough,” Lewis continued. “But I’ve always been adamant on not giving up on things, especially things I love. And I would always remember when going through a rut what the good times feel like when landing a new trick or something I’ve worked on for a while.”
Developing discipline requires time management, planning, and motivation to grow from failure and criticism. As personal discipline advances, character is built and dreams become possible. A more determined mind provides the mental strength needed to accomplish a goal.
Influenced by his parents to take up a sport, Luke Portale, ’24, began taekwondo at Break the Barriers at eight years old. Portale trained four times a week after school, eventually earning a blackbelt, Nov. 4.
“It helps you become dedicated to something,” Portale said. “It helps you concentrate on things that need to be done, and you have to keep going even though sometimes you feel like giving up. Now that I have gotten my blackbelt I hope to keep learning off what I know already.”
Freshman Tyus Tillman began playing basketball at age 5. As a freshmen on the varsity basketball team, Tillman disciplines himself to improve everyday practices as often as he can.
“I put in a lot of work to be in varsity this year as a freshmen,” Tillman said. “I practiced everyday and it was a lot of hard work. The varsity practices are really intense and I have to work hard every day. I had to sacrifice my time with my family and personal hobbies to play on varsity.”
In the following podcast, Kyler Garza talks to Tillman talks about the hard working side of the varsity basketball team.
Junior Angel Ruelas hopes to keep reaching the next level in playing soccer. Ruelas takes part in four essential academy practices throughout the week with Redwood City in San Jose to determine the starting lineup for the weekend games.
“Once I started learning more about it and I understood what it was, I was willing to make the sacrifice to join a team,” Ruelas said. “Preparing wasn’t easy. It consisted of practice and training. Not only the physical and ball side of the game but also tactical and mental part as well. Every game I played was used as training to better myself. Even to this day every game is training.”
Beginning dance at three years old, Caleigh Alday, ’21, spends 20 plus hours every week perfecting her craft. She’s won Most Inspirational Dancer at the Thunderstruck Dance Competition with a memorizing performance that left the audience in tears.
“At dance I can be myself and I actually love having real friends who I have bonded with over my lifetime at dance,” Alday said. “One of my most special moments was winning nationals last year, one of my group routines placed No. 1 in nation! It was the best feeling because we had only put it together last minute, with only 1-2 weeks to learn it.”
Brian Tracy is recognized as a top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He’s written more than 60 books and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs. Tracy is known for his worldwide bestseller, The Psychology of Achievement.
“All great success in life is preceded by long, sustained periods of focused effort on a single goal,” Tracy said. “The most important goal, with the determination to stay with it until it is complete. This one quality or practice will do more to assure that you accomplish wonderful things with your life than anything else.”
The time and dedication it takes to perfect a craft takes patience, perseverance, and determination. Pushing through difficult and challenging situations makes the light at the end become brighter, ultimately bringing success.
Kyler Garza can be reached via email.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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