Stay in the Game


I, Madison Sutton, 12, am pictured with Mariah Hess, 12, and Meredith Todd, 12. This picture shows the importance of embracing good seasons with those around you and supporting the people supporting you (Photo submitted by M. Sutton).

Madison Sutton, Staff Writer

We can all name experiences that hurt us. Whether it was seeing a loved one face an illness, getting cut from a team at school, or even just facing a situation that is hard to  understand – there is not a person in this world who has not been knocked down at some point in life. 

Because of this, it’s easy to become consumed with what’s going on in my own life – my own trials and future are often all I think about. However, I’ve been working to shift my thoughts this year. I have realized that there are approximately eight billion people in the world, and chances are that most of them are thinking about themselves too. 

No one will ever make a difference in the world by being like everyone else. This past season of my life has been really tough, and I’ve had to learn to find the balance between processing the situations that hurt me and knowing when to move on and not get caught in self-pity. Tough seasons make tough people. And tough people are people who are willing to fix their focus away from themselves in order to better the world around them. 

I spend the majority of my free time practicing and competing in dance. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from dance is that if the music is still playing, I have to keep dancing. Even if the music skips, I fall flat on my face, or my costume breaks (all things I have dealt with), I am not finished performing until the lights go out. Life is the same way. Hard times will break us down, but if the music is still playing, we don’t get to bow out. If we wait long enough, we will make it to the end of the song. By the end of the song, we will have survived, and we will get applauded by the audience. We will get respect from the judges. And we will be more confident in ourselves knowing that in the face of an obstacle, we didn’t walk away.

There is no bad season that is worth giving up on the good seasons to come. The reward of staying in the game in life is too good to miss out on, and staying tough is the first place to start.