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5. I had to get stronger before the next basketball season at La Puente High School. I was pushing myself hard when it came to lifting weights and running. I thought I could catch up with all the time I missed during the last six weeks of last year.

I was out of the end of the season last year from a torn muscle in my hip. I knew I was weak and out of shape compared to the other players that were going to be on the team next season. I pushed myself very hard for the first couple of weeks. Because I worked myself so hard I began to slowly push it away from my to do list. I started to set my sets and repetitions lower and lower till I just wasn't doing it anymore.

I had that whole summer that I was really looking forward to. I wanted to come back the next season and be in better shape then I've ever been. I also wanted to show my coach that I never quit not even in my off-season. That wasn't the way it went though. I wasted time and a lot of it.

I wasted time with weight lifting and also a jumping program that I got that guaranteed a 10-12 inch gain in my vertical jump. The last few weeks of the summer my friend invited me to lift with him. He had put together a weight program that we did the rest of the summer. Just those last few weeks of the summer my friend and I were really seeing how we were getting stronger.

That really inspired us to keep working hard. The first day of school, our coach saw the changes in the both of us. He new we had been working hard and he admired that. I started to think of how I would feel if I had been working as hard as I was then, the whole summer. I started to get mad at myself for not doing what I should have been instead of sitting around all summer playing video games. After that moment I promised myself that I wouldn't stop lifting weights.

That I would always work hard. So far I'm doing really well, I haven't stopped since I started in the summer and I'm really glad that I didn't. That was like six weeks ago and I'm still working hard. I think the only thing that's keeping me from stopping is what I get out of it. It's still hard at times because I don't work out with my friend anymore.

He was my big inspiration of lifting. I don't have that anymore so I have to keep trying to stay focused and know what I want to do. I want to help out the team this year and I want to do anything I can in order to do that. Well, its getting pretty close to the school season now and I'm excited to test some of the strengths I've uncovered in weight lifting. Even though the season is approaching I still know that I will never quit again. I'll continue working hard and to improve.

I sometimes think of that time that I wasted and I get mad, but I use this to work even harder when striving to be the best. I can't wait to play in the season because I know I worked a lot harder to be better this season. I know that I'll have a lot more fun than last year. I'm going to eventually start that jump program too, so that will definitely help a lot. To me it's all about teamwork and everyone giving effort.

Last year I was that one person that didn't give any effort. I won't be this year.