3 Minute Slam Poem
Work Hard

Perseverance

Push Yourself to New Limits 

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Success is no accident.

- Pele

    Perseverance is a quality that every person wants, and it is a quality that Jerry, an 11 year old English boy, discovers in the short story, “Through the Tunnel, by Doris Lessing. While on vacation, Jerry leaves his mom for the day and heads down to the rock beach. There, he meets some “big boys — men, to Jerry,” who he is foreign to, and sees them swimming down through this tunnel in the ocean and holding there breath for up to 160 seconds. Jerry thinks that it would be cool if he could also do that, but then he realizes that he can only hold his breath for 60 seconds. Jerry perseveres through this, and after a week of training himself to hold his breath, is finally able to swim through the same tunnel, and is triumphant after persevering through all of the obstacles that came his way.

A hundred, a hundred and one… The water paled. Victory filled him. His lungs were beginning to hurt. A few more strokes and he would be out...Then he saw, above his head, a crack running up through the rock. Sunlight was falling through it, showing the clean, dark rock of the tunnel, a single mussel shell, and darkness ahead.

Jerry finally completed what he had been working for, and he never gave up along the way. While holding his breath for two minutes may not seem like a big accomplishment, he “pushed himself” through every challenge that came his way. While he didn’t think that he could do it, and “felt he was dying,” he still did it, and while being able to hold his breath for “three minutes, at least,” may not bring Jerry far in life, the skill of perseverance that he learned in the process will be a skill that sticks with him for many years to come. It doesn’t matter what you do in life, push through the challenges that come your way.

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