In English we are now reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. In this book I came across a rather interesting statement about the main character, Edmond Dantès, while he is looking longingly at the small island of Monte Cristo where he knows a hoard of treasure is stored. The quote goes “He had waited fourteen years for his freedom; he could certainly wait six months or a year for his wealth.” Ok before I get to the meat and potatoes of this post, I have to admit that when I read that line, my first thought was the scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Sirius Black exclaimed, “I did my waiting! Twelve years of it! In Azkaban!” Now that I got that off my chest, this quote (the one from The Count of Monte Cristo, not Harry Potter) says a lot about patience and the general lack thereof that people often have. A bit of background about this quote before I really get to the topic of this post: Edmond had been in prison for the past fourteen years for a crime he never committed. He befriended a priest who was in a cell down the hall. This priest had a sort of map to a huge treasure store on the island of Monte Cristo and gave this map to Edmond before he died. Edmond then escaped and is currently on a smuggler’s ship sailing by that island.
Now, how many of us would have bolted straight to that small island without even thinking? I know I would have with the thought of ‘I deserve this because I was in prison for fourteen years and was innocent’ running through my head. But Edmond shows immense patience and self-control in this scene. This attitude of ‘I waited this long, I can wait a little longer for when the time is right’ can come in handy in a lot of places, from track to everyday life. I know I need to take a page out of Edmond’s book (no pun intended) and learn to wait patiently instead of expecting everything to be given to me. Last year, I was the fastest girl 400 meter runner on the team (yes as a freshman, don’t ask how that happened because I don’t even know). Because of this, I ran the anchor (last) leg of the girls varsity 4×400 relay team. I loved running anchor leg. This year however, I haven’t been running as fast so I haven’t been anchoring. Instead, my friend (who I love to death as a sister) has been anchoring. Even though she is practically my sister, it is still extremely hard to take on Edmond’s patience instead of the usual ‘I deserve to be anchoring because I did it all last year and worked really hard this year’ but I am learning that attitude of ‘I can wait’ and acknowledge that she has worked hard too and has as much claim to the relay spot as I do.
I also need to learn patience in track because I haven’t PRed at all this season. (For those of you who don’t speak track, that means that I haven’t broken my personal best from last year.) This is really frustrating because last year I got a PR (personal record) almost every meet and this year I am so much stronger. This quote is teaching me to be patient and wait for the right time for me to PR. This quote can also be applied to pretty much everything in life, from grades in school to getting a job. You just have to have enough patience and self-control to wait for the right time and keep working at it, so that when it is the right time, you will succeed. -A.